Friday, February 26, 2010

Preventing Contamination from E.coli and Salmonella Bacterias

The following information is from one of the best healthletters around:

Nutrition Action Healthletter, March 2010 issue, cover story is called, "CAUTION! Paying Russian roulette with your food."

This article, from which I am summarizing, is about some foods which have the E. coli or salmonella bacterias and how the FDA cannot seem to monitor the manufacturing plants where food is produced.

That said, here is advice for food:

RULES FOR LEFTOVERS: refrigerate or freeze leftovers within 2 hours of cooking or throw them away. Store food at a shallow depth-2 inches-to speed chilling and leftovers go into freezer right away or you have to eat them in 4 days, except stuffing and gravy which keep for 2 days. Also, reheat leftovers to 165 degrees and any liquid leftovers to a rolling boil.

Only buy fresh-cut produce (half a watermelon, bagged salad greens,) if it's refrigerated or surrounded by ice.

In shopping cart, separate raw meat, poultry and seafood.

Store perishable fruits and veggies like strawberries, lettuce, herbs and mushrooms, or cut or peeled produce in clean refrigerator at 40 degrees or below.

Wash your hands for 20 seconds with warm water and soap before and after preparing any food. You can also sing "Happy Birthday to Me," which should take the same amount of time.

Wash fruits and veggies under running water just before eating, cutting or cooking, even if you plan to peel them. Don't use soap, since it leaves a residue.

Scrub firm produce like melons and cucumbers with a clean produce brush. Let air dry before cutting.

Discard the outer leaves of heads of leafy veggies like cabbage and lettuce.

Don't eat sprouts unless thoroughly cooked. Pregnant, elderly, children or those with a weakened immune system should avoid raw sprouts.

Cooking any food to 160 degrees will kill any E. coli O157:H7.

Always wash lettuce, even pre-washed products.

Always cook meat, even simple hamburgers, all the way through or use a meat thermometer. If it isn't cooked through, the bacteria will survive.

The entire article is worth reading. It makes you think twice about buying some products manufactured by certain companies.

Check out: to subscribe. You can get further information about this at:

Nutrition Action Healthletter
/Center for Science in the Public Interest.

Stay healthy and continue reading my blog!

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