Re: Killing bacteria on vegetables?
Amick Robert (amick@SPOT.COLORADO.EDU)
Thu, 7 Mar 1996 12:36:29 -0700
It is my understanding that the safest way to destroy pathogenic bacteria
and parasites on food is boiling for about 10 minutes, because the food
is uniformly heated to a temperature which is lethal for such "critters."
Using chemicals is a "topical" approach and may only kill the pathogens
which are on the exterior of the food, and miss those that may be in the
tissue of the food. Any chemical such as iodine or chlorine bleach is
toxic, and even though it may not make you sick, in small quantities, it
still leaves an unpleasant taste in the food, and may not destroy all of
the pathogens. Fruit with skins such as apples, oranges, etc., may be
treated with a chlorine bleach solution, and then rinsed. generally, if
the skin of the fruit is unbroken, there will not be contamination inside
the fruit, but you may wish to peel it anyway before consuming. We used
this technique when we were in Mexico and had good results with fruits.
As with any food preparation, it is important to avoid
"cross-contamination" by sanitizing utensils used for cutting raw meat or
uncooked vegetables before they are used for handling cooked or treated
foods. This also applies to cutting boards and counter-top surfaces as
well as cooking pots or dishes.
you may wish to contact your local Red Cross or Federal Emergency
Management Agency office for details on food safety. Other good
resources are US Dept of Agriculture Extension Offices/County
Agricultural Agents who have extensive knowledge and experience in food
safety and preparation.
As an added precaution, we obtained a prescription from our unit
physician for "Bactrim" antibiotic which is effective against most
food-borne bacteria causing "Montezuma's Revenge" and similar
gastrointestinal maladies. It can save a lot of discomfort and illness
if you are not successful in your food preparation techniques. Talk to
your local physician about precautionary medications to take with you and
how to use them under "standing orders" for members of your group.
Bob Amick, Explorer Advisor, High Adventure Explorer Post 72, Boulder, CO
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City