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After the E. coli outbreak this summer forced salad lovers to throw their lettuce, the risk of foodborne illnesses was pushed into the limelight. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, leafy greens cause about a fifth of all foodborne illnesses; Since these vegetables are rarely cooked, they become more susceptible to maintaining bacteria, says James Dickerson, chief scientist at Consumer Reports. To keep your family safe from food poisoning, stick to these methods of cleaning and storing your fruit and vegetables.
Rinse fresh fruit and vegetables
Run your products, including those with peel and peel that are not eaten, under warm tap water to wash away dirt and bacteria. If you're cleaning the lettuce, remove the few outside leaves and use the spray nozzle in the sink to wash away the hidden dirt. However, packaged fruit and vegetables labeled "ready to eat" or "washed" should not be washed again, as this could increase the possibility of cross contamination.
Skip the chemicals
Do not use soap, bleach or detergent to wash fruits and vegetables, as they are not made for consumption and can harm your health. While specific sprays for expensive products seem to do the best job of removing persistent gunk, hot water will do the trick.
Wash your hands
Give your hands a good cleaning both before handling the food and after a break, whether using a mobile phone or a bathroom. A recent study found over 17,000 copies of bacterial genes on high school students' cell phones, so it's a good idea to wash your hands after sending the text "Get ready for dinner at 7".
If you're setting up a chicken Caesar salad, use a different chopping board to cut the raw chicken over the one used to mince the romaine. Use a strainer to rinse your products so they do not come into contact with the bacteria in your sink, says Toby Amidor, MS, RD and Food Safety Advisor, and do not rinse the meat in the sink – raw meat juices can splash around the counter, making it easy for bacteria to get in touch with any food in the area.
Keep it fresh
Lettuce should be stored at or below 41 ° F, especially when cut, to prevent the growth of pathogenic bacteria, then place the head or envelope in the refrigerator as soon as you are finished.
Suggestions provided by the California Leafy Greens marketing agreement.
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