Food safety & nutrition experts are urging residents throughout Canada to handle food safely, following a recent E. coli outbreak that saw over 40 illnesses in mid & eastern Canada.
Those sustaining illness are ranged between age 4 to 80 — 70% of those affected are female.
When it comes to washing lettuce, Janice Hamilton <teaches food security and nutrition at Mapleton Teaching Kitchens in Moncton> recommends breaking it up, putting it in a colander or strainer, and then rinsing it with water over a bowl.
She also advised not to skip washing vegetables and fruit that have hard shells, such as melons, because once you cut into it, you could contaminate it from the outside.
Hamilton recommended scrubbing them with a brush before cutting.
“Even with turnips, squash, products like that, you want to scrub them before you cut them,” she said.
Don’t leave meat out for long
When it comes to meat, you really only have a four-hour window before you need to either cook or refrigerate it, she said.
Any meat that’s been out at room temperature for longer than that becomes very prone to bacteria.
“You actually have to start the clock of four hours as soon as you put it in your cart,” said Hamilton.
She also recommended using a separate cutting board specifically for meat, and storing meat on the bottom shelf of your refrigerator to prevent leakage.