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Wash Veggies to Prevent Food Poisoning

By The Law Office of WT Johnson on June 19, 2013

The summer is the perfect time to go to the local farmer’s market and buy fresh vegetables and fruit. But even though it may seem like the produce sold at the farmer’s market is better than that in the grocery store, no matter where you buy your produce, it’s still important to wash it in order to prevent food poisoning.

A recent Dallas CBS News-11 report shared how its investigative team visited North Texas grocery stores and a farmer’s market. The team bought lettuce, spinach, cilantro, tomatoes and oranges, and swabbed the produce before and after washing. Armstrong Forensic Laboratory in Arlington tested the swabs to see what was on the produce.

The swab tests showed that no matter where the produce was purchased, a variety of bacteria was lurking on the vegetables: serratia, pseudomonas, aeromonas and hundreds of thousands of coliforms.

Dr. Bhayani sees many patients who are suffering from food poisoning and foodborne illnesses at Texas Health Arlington. He said serratia is a bacteria that can cause a blood-borne illness, but usually only in patients who are already sick. The bacteria, aeromonas hydrophilia can cause severe wound infections, if ingested in huge amounts.

The bacteria remained on the leafy green veggies, even after a thorough washing. But the tomatoes and oranges didn’t have much bacteria on them. Leafy greens have caused the most foodborne illnesses in the US. The Food and Drug Administration is now proposing tougher standards for growing and harvesting produce.

Dr. Bhayani said the best way to prevent food poisoning from produce is to wash all your produce in hot water, even your lettuce. Others recommend washing it with a little vinegar or soaking produce in water and salt.

If you or a loved one were the victim of a food poisoning due to the negligence of someone else, you deserve compensation for your emotional and physical pain. Contact the Law Offices of W.T. Johnson today and set-up your free, no-obligation consultation.

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Posted in: Food Poisoning

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