Prevent E.coli illnesses from starting in your kitchen

Source of Article:

June 26, 3:14 PM

When raw meats or seafood and fresh foods like produce come into contact, cross-contamination occurs. This innocent mingling usually occurs on cutting boards, by hand contact, on knives, plates and any other utensil contact between foods.  The solution is to be mindful in the kitchen and practice the following food handling tips to protect you and your family.  And remember, the less prepared foods you buy and bring into your home, the less your chances are of ingesting someones elses contaminations.

Preventative Solutions:

Wash hands for two minutes with hot soapy water between meat & vegetable handling or

Buy a large box of disposable plastic gloves and get in the habit of using them when handling food. Put on a fresh pair between handling meats and produce and change as often as needed.

Create work areas. One for raw meats and one for preparing fruits and vegetables.

Do not use one cutting board for all. Mark the handles on cutting boards for use: raw meats /cooked meats/ and fruits & vegetables. 

Always use one plate to transport raw meat to the grill, and a second for cooked meats.


Fruits & Vegetables and the eww factor

It looks appealing when we see bountiful displays of produce, but think about how you choose your fruits and vegetables. You pick them up, look them over, squeeze them and in some cases toss them back.   This is where the eww factor comes in.


Preventative SolutionArm yourself with a spray bottle of white vinegar and a spray bottle of3% hydrogen peroxide. Spray your produce liberally and let set 3-5 minutes. The best results came from using one mist right after the other - it is 10 times more effective than using either spray by itself. Do not mix vinegar and hydrogen peroxide in one sprayer. Rinse thoroughly. You may still scrub certain vegetables


In tests run at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, pairing the two mists killed virtually all Salmonella, Shigella, or E. coli bacteria on heavily contaminated food and surfaces when used in this fashion, making this spray combination more effective at killing these potentially lethal bacteria than chlorine bleach or any commercially available kitchen cleaner.   Use these two mists on countertops, cutting boards or any other surfaces that you want disinfected. 


Note: Yes, fruits that are peeled need to be treated as well, we touch the peeling when peeling. The same is true for melons. If we donít wash them, a bacterium from the knife gets dragged into the fruit, eww.



Reference note: Articles on Dr. Sumner's original research work appeared in the scientific news journal, "Science News," in the issues that were published on August 29, 1996, and on August 8, 1998


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