Washing fresh leafy greens and herbs with diluted vinegar before you cook or eat them could save you from food poisoning. Here are 7 more tips to help protect you from contaminated produce.
1. Start while you shop. Only buy fresh or bagged produce if it is refrigerated or tucked into a bed of ice.
2. If you buy pre-cut or already-peeled produce, refrigerate it the moment you get home.
3. Check whether your refrigerator is keeping your food cold enough. Visit your local hardware store and ask about a thermometer for fridge temperatures. Make sure your refrigerator is set to 40 degrees Fahrenheit or less.
4. Moisture is like a party invitation for food-poisoning bacteria, so don't let greens soak in the sink. Also, don't wash produce if you plan to store it in the fridge a few minutes later.
5. Before peeling or eating fruits and veggies, wash them well and then dry them with a clean paper towel.
6. Produce with a rind should be scrubbed with a clean brush before peeling. Otherwise, your peeling knife may transfer outside bacteria to the edible inside of your fruit or veggie.
7. To destroy E. coli, saute or boil leafy greens at 160 degrees Fahrenheit or higher for at least 15 seconds.