Can anyone tell me of a vegetable rinse that will kill bacteria
- d/2u Jul 7, 2004 09:52 AM
I make a lot of salads and such, that use raw green onions. I read the other day that green onions are one of our dirtiest foods, re: bacteria. Does anyone have a method of making sure that my green onions will be clean and safe to use raw. I was thinking about soaking them in a diluted bleach solution, then a rinse/soak/rinse afterwards. Would they be safe for human consumption after that? Or is there a product to buy or make that would work? Thanks! Dawn
Here in Mexico, we use a product called Microdyn. It has an iodine base. Use a few drops in a liter of water, soak produce for 6-7 minutes, and then use your raw vegetables/fruits. No final rinse is necessary; the product leaves no aftertaste. Of course it's never necessary to soak anything that we would normally peel, like bananas.
I buy it at Costco in a liter bottle and it lasts forever. I would imagine you can get it at your supermarket or at a Costco or some other big box place.
Sal's Suds, which you can buy in the health food store and is made by the folks at Dr. Bronners, is supposed to be the best for removing all pesticides, herbicides and bacteria from produce. It is also the best for grease and dirt of all kinds. This is my general purpose cleaner. While pricey, I dilute it 1:5 with water and a liter bottle lasts a long time.
OK, here's a compelling case:
Where I live, tap water is not potable. Therefore you can't soak vegetables and fruits in anything that needs to be rinsed off with tap water prior to eating. I suppose I could rinse off the bleach solution with purchased purified water--which is what the population here drinks--but why buy bleach *and* purified water when I can just buy a 50 peso ($4.75USD) liter bottle of Microdyn that lasts about 3 years?
Dr. Bronners Sal..., although generally a good brand, is not marketed to kill bacteria. A quick glance at the ingredients identified nothing I recognized, and one, SLS, is not something I would get anywhere near something I was eating.
Bleach is a very toxic alternative, but there are better.
Simple apple cider or white vinegar is an extremely effective antibacterial, as is food grade hydrogen peroxide, tea tree oil, and grapefruit seed extract (an effective ingredient in many brands of hospital and instititional cleansers).
My mum uses a solution of water and vinegar, followed by a hydrogen peroxide rinse. Don't know the ratio - can probably find on-line.
Much, much cheaper than commercial prepared products, too.
If you use hydrogen peroxide on food be sure it's food grade! Drugstore peroxide should not be ingested.
I used to grow my own sprouts (clover, buckwheat, alfalfa, etc). A spoonful of food grade hydrogen peroxide in the rinse water helped slow mold and rot.
Food grade hyrogen peroxide should be used with care. It contains 35% H2O2 vs. the 3% H2O2 in the drugstore bottle. It's highly volatile and should be stored in the freezer. Avoid getting it on your skin. (FYI...Rocket fuel is 90% H2O2. )
I love Sal Suds, but agree with a previous poster that it's not right for cleaning food. It contains fragrant pine and spruce oils. It's really nice for washing sweaters.
For vegetables, I'd look for the iodine cleaner that Cristina uses.
Rinsing is fine for me, from back yard vegs.
I can't imagine why I would want to kill all bacteria. There are lots of good microbes out there, just as there are good bugs in the garden, and I am not about to kill them with an all encompassing spray.
In Taipei in the 80s we used very dilute bleach solution (like 1 tsp to a gallon) of tap water and rinsed in cold water that had been boiled for at least 5 minutes. Didn't get sick from food there at all (and we ate in all kinds of places from classy joints to street stalls).
Cooks Illustrated tried various methods and discovered that spraying with a simple vinegar-water solution kills 98% of bacteria on smooth-skinned produce. For leafy veggies and others with more uneven surfaces, a vinegar-water soak did the job. Here is the whole story (no CI password necessary to read it).
White vinegar and a cheap, refillable spray bottle also have the advantage of being dirt cheap and available almost everywhere!