E. Coli has broken out within the South West leaving two people dead from suspected contamination from mixed salad leaves. Public Health England advises customers to wash their packaged salad to prevent any risk of disease. But how exactly do we know if we have washed off bacteria completely?
Washing can help remove bacteria and reduce the risk of food poisoning even within fruit and vegetables. We should particularly focus on any excess soil on the food, as this is where most bacteria are produced.
We should wash vegetables under a running tap; place your salad in a bowl with fresh running water and rub them under water. Allow to soak for five minutes before giving each one a final rinse with clean water. Then dry using a salad spinner or kitchen towel to remove any excess water. However, the best way to rid any food of bacteria is by cooking it. Try turning your salad into a stir-fry to burn off any risk of disease.
Remember to wash your hands thoroughly before and after handling food and separate your knives and chopping boards from meat and vegetables to reduce any risk of contamination.
The symptoms of E. Coli include diarrhea and abdominal pain, which occurs between three or four days. People recover fairly quickly without the need for hospitalization. However, if your symptoms persist longer than 14 days or are particularly bad, you should contact your GP immediately.