|Salmonella & You: How to Avoid Mass Outbreaks|
|Written by Caitlin McHose,Four Green Steps|
|Tuesday, 02 October 2012 00:34|
Written by Caitlin McHose,Four Green Steps
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It’s commonly known that salmonella can show up in uncooked chicken and beef and raw eggs, however recent outbreaks have been associated with fruits and veggies.
It is true that the salmonella bacteria that contaminate produce likely originate from the waste associated with raising livestock or other domestic animals. Water or soil that are contaminated can easily come into contact with produce and since salmonella bacteria can survive for weeks outside of a living body, they can still be alive by the time the infected fruits and veggies wind up in your hands.
It’s important that fruits and veggies comprise a large portion of your diet, so here are some tips to avoid getting sick without fearing produce:
Be sure to always rinse fruits and vegetables well. Produce especially prone to salmonella contamination include lettuce, leafy greens, sprouts, fresh herbs, tomatoes, peppers, and melons. Rinsing should be sufficient; a significant amount of the salmonella bacteria must be ingested in order to become ill. Stomach acidity is responsible for killing most of the harmful bacteria that we ingest.
If you are aware of a salmonellosis outbreak in your area however, cook your vegetables instead of eating them raw. Or, just to be totally sure that you’re in the clear, it wouldn’t hurt to throw away whatever produce you may have that could be tainted. This is especially important for fruit such as melons and tomatoes since the bacteria can penetrate the skin and persist inside the fruit, in which case simply rinsing them would not remove the pathogens.
Image courtesy of Creative Commons.
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