How is E.coli being eliminated from our imported vegetables?

How is E.coli being eliminated from our imported vegetables? Source: Wikimedia

According to research, E.coli represents a real threat as it can be found on fresh vegetables and fruits. The bacterium, which is actually a member of a group of bacterial germs, live in a person’s intestines and can cause several diseases such as diarrhea and kidney failure.

The bacteria enter the intestines of mammals via raw food or raw fruits and vegetables.  Poorly cooked meat is also responsible for humans acquiring the bacterium as well as unpasteurized milk and juice, and other dairy products. In the case of vegetables, sprouts especially can carry the bacterium but this does not mean other vegetables are clean.

Removing the bacteria from raw vegetables is not as an easy task. Most people simply wash them with tap water.  Others wash with dish soap, bleach, vinegar, or even hydrogen peroxide.  However, these methods, even though they might eliminate 99.9% of the bacterium, are not as effective as it only takes one trace of the bacteria to make you sick.

Research has shown that when E.coli attaches to a vegetable, it creates a film to protect itself. Meaning that, once it is attached to a vegetable, it is very hard to kill. 

There are only two methods that are 100% reliable in eliminating the bacterium from raw vegetables.  These are radiation and cooking.  Radiation is the method that is mostly used industrially in our imported vegetables to get rid of E.coli. However, it is not that widely used since the public is still not comfortable with the use of radiation on food, despite the fact that this method is both safe and effective. 

Does this then mean goodbye to salads?  Not necessarily.  The risks might increase for you but if your immune system is strong enough, you should be able to resist. 

 

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