Thursday, 20 July 2017 21:45

How to Control Bacteria on Fruits and Vegetables at Home

produce-in-water-smallWith stories about recalls, foodborne illnesses and food contamination on the rise in the media, consumers are looking for ways to ensure their food is safe for their families. From homesteaders growing and harvesting their own food, to organic food sales being at an all-time high, to local produce co-ops becoming more popular, people are actively seeking out safer food sources for their families. Unfortunately, no matter where food comes from, it is possible that contaminants can be present.

The most common contaminants of food are E. coli, listeria, and salmonella. E. coli is commonly found in the intestines of animals and humans. It can be found randomly in fruits and vegetables even though it comes from animals. Fruits and vegetables that grow close to the ground are susceptible to E. coli contamination if, for example, improperly composted cattle manure is used as a fertilizer.

Listeria is found in soil and water. Vegetables can become contaminated from the soil or from manure used as fertilizer. Animals can carry the bacterium without appearing ill and can contaminate foods of animal origin such as meats and dairy products. The bacterium has been found in a variety of raw foods, such as uncooked meats and vegetables, as well as in processed foods that become contaminated after processing, such as soft cheeses and cold cuts at the deli counter. Unpasteurized (raw) milk or foods made from unpasteurized milk may contain the bacterium.

Most people associate a salmonella infection with chicken, but these bacteria can also contaminate other foods such as fruits and vegetables. Backyard chickens, meat, raw eggs and unpasteurised dairy products may also be sources of salmonella.

Bacteria such as listeria, salmonella and E. coli can be killed by pasteurization or cooking at a high temperature. However, for fruits and vegetables consumed raw, it is important to thoroughly wash produce before consuming. Plain water is good for removing dirt and loose debris from produce, but for reducing contaminants and controlling bacteria, use CitroBio Fresh Food Wash. CitroBio Fresh Food Wash does not alter the taste, appearance, or smell of food. To buy CitroBio on Amazon, click here.

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