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June 4, 2011

E.coli Worries – Prevention better than Cure

by Val Reynolds
Use a sterilising solution to wash any salad to offset possible E.coli contamination

Use a sterilising solution to wash any salad to offset possible E.coli contamination

Practising food safety at a time when E.coli is a potential threat is common sense. Generally you are advised to thoroughly wash and rinse fresh fruit and vegetables.

We were always advised to take precautions against e.coli when we travelled abroad on holiday and especially when camping because of contamination from mud picked up – remember Glastonbury a year or so ago, public toilets and shared facilities. So we always took sterilising tablets purchased from the chemist to wash fruit and vegetables, to sterilise drinking water and to wash our hands.

When I was on a trek in Nepal after a visit to the toilet tent we had to wash our hands in a bowl of water coloured red with added potassium permanganate that acted as a sterlising solution.

We used Milton sterilising tablets when babies’ health was a consideration – a recent feature in The Guardian mentions that to be good advice.

We also read about Veggi Wash, made from edible fruit compounds but powerful enough to wipe E.coli off the surface of a cucumber, tomato or other fruit and veg. Wash for two minutes and rinse off. You are advised to dry the vegetables and keep in the fridge.

Of course, nothing will work if you don’t practise basic hygiene which is washing your hands thoroughly – especially your thumbs – after going to the toilet. And washing your hands before you prepare and eat food is of course, absolutely imperative.

E.coli is too serious to risk.

Val Reynolds Brown Editor

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