One of the most common routes of GI infection from harmful bacteria, protozoa, and parasites is through the consumption of raw fruits and vegetables. In order to reduce the risk of reinfection follows these simple practices listed below.
Before consuming raw fruit or vegetables:
- Soak the raw fruit or vegetable in a dilute solution of 35% food grade hydrogen peroxide.
- Use 1 tablespoon of 35% hydrogen peroxide to 1 gallon of water.
- Make sure to carefully measure out the amount and avoid physical contact with the full- strength hydrogen peroxide.
- Soak thick-skinned fruits and vegetables such as avocadoes, melons, apples, celery, and broccoli for 15 minutes.
- Soak thinner skinned produce such as berries and leafy greens for 5 minutes
- Remember that even items that will be peeled and eaten raw must be sanitized first as microbes can be transferred to the inside of fruits and vegetables when cut or peeled.
- After soaking the produce for the appropriate time, rinse thoroughly in cold running water.
- Place them on a clean kitchen towel to dry.
- If you are storing the product, make sure you place it in a clean plastic bag or container.
Note: You can order 35% food grade hydrogen peroxide on-line.
Heat Your Meat
Another common route of GI infection is through the consumption of undercooked meat, poultry, and fish. To avoid infections with common microbes such as salmonella and E. coli, make sure you cook animal products to the proper temperatures listed in the table below. Remember to always measure food temperatures by using a high-quality thermometer. Additionally, make sure to insert the tip of the thermometer in the center of meats such as steak, hamburger, and pork chops. Likewise, for very large and thick cuts, such as roasts, make sure you measure the temperature in several locations. For the product to be consumed it must reach the minimum safe temperature throughout. On the other hand, whole roasted items, such as turkey and chicken, be sure to measure the temperature in several places; middle of the breast and at the hip joint by the thigh.
|Product||Min Safe Temperature,Fahrenheit|
|Ground beef, chicken, turkey, veal, lamb||165|
|Fresh beef, veal, lamb: steaks, roasts, chops||145|
|Poultry: whole chicken and turkey (with or without stuffing)||165|
|Poultry: breasts, thighs, legs, wings||165|
|Pork and Ham: Fresh (raw)||145|
|Eggs||Cook unit whites and yolk are firm|
|Fin fish||145 (until fish is opaque and separates easily with a fork)|
|Shrimp, lobster, crabs||Cook until flesh is opaque|
|Clams, oysters, mussels||Cook until shells open|
|Scallops||Cook until flesh is milky white, opaque and firm|
Source: Foodsafety.gov. Food Safety at a Glance. Food Safety.gov. Accessed 04/09/2019.
Also, remember to use separate cutting boards for fruits/vegetables and animal products (beef, chicken, fish, pork..etc). Make sure to sanitize knives, peelers, graters, cutting boards, and other kitchen utensils between use (hot soapy water or dishwasher).
The board-certified Integrative and Functional Nutritionist at Food Centered Solutions are specially trained to help you attain improved health and digestive function.
Call 904-526-0082 or email firstname.lastname@example.org today for your free 15-minute consultation!
Frances Siver, MS, RDN, LDN, CLT, IFNCP
Board Certified in Integrative and Functional Nutrition