Produce Disinfecting Tip
Posted 24 January 2012 - 07:47 AM
For years I've been hauling down some chemical they use to purify drinking water in trailer tanks. But I'm down to my last half bottle and loath the idea of dragging more down.
So internet research uncovers what a lot of you prolly already know and I'm the only chowder head left in town.
But in case you didn't already know it -- apparently 3% hydrogen peroxide -- what is available at all the pharmacies -- works quite well. The lit says to fill your sink with water and then add 1/4 Cup of the 3% hyrodgen peroxide solution plus some salt. Wash throughly and that kills most everything. Keep the bottle stored somewhere dark because light degrades it quickly if it's not in a dark brown bottle. (They mostly aren't at the Mega).
I don't know the reason for the salt nor how much to add. I'm guessing it changes the ph of the water?? to make peroxide more effective?? Will Ask AJ who was a chemistry major for two years in college. Or maybe Charles will see this as he's pretty good on that front as well. Any other know-it-alls out there on this subject before I poison myself? Ja Ja.
Anyhoo, does anyone use some variation of this method? If not, what ARE you using for disinfecting produc that works for you?
Posted 24 January 2012 - 10:33 AM
Posted 24 January 2012 - 10:43 AM
1/4 cup, yes. I made that correction to the original post. Now the question is how much salt or is it even necessary. Too little -- or especially too much -- not good.
Carey, would that be 1/4 cup of the 3% hydrogen peroxide?
Also I'm wondering if it needs to be 'food grade' h202 per this article which is, however, discussing use of 35% h202
Posted 24 January 2012 - 12:14 PM
Posted 24 January 2012 - 01:23 PM
Chlorine, bleach is effective at killing most of the bugs that might get you sick for a few days, are unpleasant, but really don't require any medicine for treatment. They go through your system and symptom treatment medicines lessens the discomfort, but slows down and prolongs the misery. Chlorine, bleach does noting for the real good stuff, it takes iodine to purify water from Giardia, E coli or hepatitis. Bugs that either ain't going away and/or definitely require medication treatment. I don't know if iodine was presenting problems for some people with sensitivities or medical conditions, despite the dubious value of the replacement, the fact that they color it to look like iodine I find deceptive and personally offensive. I have less confidence than i would if they just called it an alternative and didn't try to deceive the consumer.
I don't always, but I try to wash fruit, melons and vegetables that are going to be peeled. I might use disinfectant hand soap or dish detergent and often scrub with a clean abrasive pot scrubber. Whether it be watermelon or grapefruit, God knows what may be on the outside surface and without cleaning, the knife you use will contaminate the inside as it slices through the skin. The smaller fruits, apple, pears, assorted imported at least look like they have been more professionally washed and handled.
Lettuce and the related greens for salads, the biggie of concerns. I often get those types that still show dirt, they are more tender and tasty and if you can still see the soil they were grown in, you know they aren't sterile. I wash the hell out of them in tap water, leaf by leaf. Then I might soak for a bit in a bowl, maybe even add a little bleach (again, of limited benefit), then I thoroughly rinse like hell several times in drinking water, agua cristal. I blot dry with paper towels and then roll up and package in zip locks. I usually prepare several packages at a session when I do this. We have gotten use to using lots of fresh lime juice as part of the salad dressing for what that might be worth. I do it for flavor, but it may have some additional properties as well.
Hydrogen peroxide merits more investigation if you are concerned and want to do things correctly. I'd have more confidence in a potential answer there than whatever that iodine colored junk is and I'd rather not use iodine. I only had to use it once in water treatment for drinking water while backpacking and that one time was enough for me.
I know the hydrogen peroxide kills mold, very important to me when my living quarters could be a science project. I have what I feel certain is toxic strains of black mold as well as a rainbow of colors of every cold weather mold and fungi
I am a firm believer in using hydrogen peroxide in cleaning. Bleach will turn mold white, takes the color away. In just quick looking, I saw using 1/4 or 1/3 cup in a sink full of water or bucket....but how much water is that. Besides the salt mentioned, I saw baking soda mentioned in another place. This is on my things to research as I know I have a more compromised immune system and I need to be more careful than my normal.
Posted 24 January 2012 - 03:14 PM
I use Hydrogen peroxide to clean my cutting boards, then use bleach drops in water to wash down.
The most important thing in life is not knowing everything, it's having the phone number of somebody who does!
Posted 25 January 2012 - 01:51 AM
It said it was successful at treating apples with a 1% solution in a "wet dump tank" whatever that is. I believe these were apples for juice, cider production. It said that it was ineffective in treatment of inoculated cantaloupes. Cantaloupes have a rind and surface very different than the smooth peel of an apple. I am assuming that the inoculation is meaning surface application of the E coli and assorted contaminants. It would seem like the "netting" on a cantaloupe rind could be much more conducive to absorption, but I am curious about the means and medium of both the inoculations and then the treatments. This was carried out using a 1% solution, that is our standard 3% H2O2 one part diluted with two parts water.
What I am curious about is just what strength would be required to effectively treat lettuce and other raw salad greens. I want this for application in the States as well as down here. Again, people know to be paranoid about Mexican produce, but I am not that confident things are really that much more effective and safe in the U.S. At least here, you might be more likely to actually see the dirt like on the giant stalks of celery I cleaned, then chopped, but then I fully cooked those with rice.
Hydrogen peroxide I really like, I'm comfortable, I use it directly on and in my body. Although it is no longer generally recommended for cuts and wounds, I still use H2O2 to foam, wash out what I think might be dirty cuts or have foreign debris before applying cream and bandage. I use it my ears and in my mouth. I know it has disinfectant properties and it kills mold. It is the most mild, with benign properties that just might wells work.
Bleach, it is good in washing white clothing.It will help disinfect some things on a limited basis.
Iodine works for most things, but it is nasty stuff
The stuff that is marketed as fake iodine, I don't trust at all, I wouldn't want it in contact with my body, much less in the food I eat.
I have an entirely different issue of concern in Alaska. I get most of my lettuce home gown by a close neighbor a Thai lady that grew up in the country of real peasant class. She has a wonderful garden, uses no insecticide, no chemical fertilizer it grows under ideal personal conditions. The soil, what little there is, the entire small valley which is the town was a Super Fund Toxic clean up site. The government spent million$$$, they supposedly vacuumed up all the contaminated soil from 80 years of dust blown off of rail road ore cars. They claim to have gotten all the lead, arsenic and assorted radioactive materials. No records were kept about what 5,000 U.S. military troops dumped during their stint during World War II and building the Al-can highway. Oil was recently discovered when digging a foundation for a home. It is a layer of used motor oil, a couple of feet thick, takes up a full city block and two feet below the surface. What can I possible use to clean the greens and make them safe for human consumption?
Posted 25 January 2012 - 07:00 AM
Posted 25 January 2012 - 07:27 AM
In the interim, I think we can assume that a sink or bucket of water with 1/4 3% peroxide and ?? 1/2 teas salt would work. Especially if you soak it for 30 minutes -- as you'll note is mentioned in that abstract The longer time might be important. I was only soaking for 5 minutes with the stuff I was hauling down here, for example.
Assume it won't work on any produce with skin like a cantelope so that might require washing with soap, rinsing and THEN soaking for 30 minutes. I am trying to think if there is any other produce that has skin like a cantelope or even close to a cantelope and I'm coming up empty. Anyone??
Posted 25 January 2012 - 10:06 AM
#1. Another study was cited and summarized that looked interesting -- a 1.5% lactic acid mixed with 1.5% hydrogen peroxide solution was highly effective at killing listeria, e.coli and salmonella on apples.
#2. The way the peroxide only experiment was done:
A. Apples were first washed in tap water
B. Then they were dip-inoculated in the e. coli goo for 30 seconds, removed and held for 24 hours
C. Most effective results in this experiment involved the following steps
1)pre washed apples immersed in 4 liters of 1% peroxide at between 20 and 40 C with 40 being a little better so warm water.
2)they were shaken up --so stir the bucket
3)they were left in the mixture 15-30 mins with the 30 mins being most effective.
4)the peroxide was then rinsed off by dipping in two separate containers of purified water
Doesn't work on cantelopes because of the webbing but worked very well on the smooth skinned apples.
This may be more than most people want to bother with. But.....I have a sensitive stomach and think I"ll give it a shot. Now gotta find out where to buy lactic acid locally as that sounds like something to try for sure. I'm thinking Dori pharmacy.
Posted 26 January 2012 - 11:59 AM
So what is the take away from this discussion? Microdyne is junk and do not waste your money, but peeps here have been using this for years. Now what is the simple thing for a tourist to do...besides eat out at every meal?
I'm working on it and, yes, microdyne is junk. I have to get AJ on the stick on this because it appears from the research I've done that a solution of 1% hydrogen peroxide soak for 30 minutes on washed produced followed by a dip in purified water to remove excess peroxide should do the trick on anything that has a pretty smooth skin.
Now....I am terrible at arithmetic and mathematics so someone needs to help me figure out how to dilute the typical 3% h202 sold in the drug stores to a 1% solution. I'm thinking 1 cup peroxide to 2 cups water ?? 3 to 1 ratio? But I suspect I'm missing something key in that equation.
If no one else answers soon, I'll go haul AJ out and make him figure it out for me and post.
Posted 26 January 2012 - 12:40 PM
Posted 27 January 2012 - 08:26 AM
Posted 27 January 2012 - 08:38 AM
Just thinking out loud, I wonder if a solution of say, vodka and water, or any other alcohol meant for consumption (not rubbing alcohol) would work?
I wouldn't think so. And clorine doesn't work that well either, apparently.
Thing is that's a lot of hydrogen peroxide -- let's see. 3 liters of water and 1 liter of h202 would give you a gallons worth that would soak quite a lot of produce. But how much does a liter of h202 3% cost? Gotta find out.
And maybe that concentration is overkill considering that in the experiments quoted they were using apples that had been totally immersed in e. coli bacterium. And we're only talking here about the occasional bug that might get in.
All in all, I'm thinking it might be better to just wash produce with soap and water and let it dry completely and have done. Lettuce continues to be a problem and for that maybe the peroxide treatment with a good rinse in potable water afterwards, soaked for half an hour with lots of swishing while you're at it, would do the trick.
I just buy the prewashed salad greens that are available now. My mother doesn't trust them and wouldn't eat them when she visited at Christmas. She's probably right. But so far so good. And me with a system that seems to attract every type of intestinal bug that's gettable. I'm the canary down the mine shaft for this type of thing.
Posted 27 January 2012 - 09:27 AM
They use hyrogen peroxide in a spray bottle and vinegar in a spray bottle. You spray the food first with one then the other then rinse. Says it's 10 times more effective than hydrogen peroxide alone. There might be something to it.
Posted 27 January 2012 - 11:17 PM
never had a single sick family member or guest (local or statewide), nor when i took a dish elsewhere and served to many.
like charles, i often use lechuga larga (romaine). but sometimes when the lettuce doesn't look great, i will buy the romaine lettuce hearts (3 to a bag) and one of the brands has been profundly cleaned with pozo water. i never found a piece of dirt on them.
Calle 11 % Melgar y 10av
Edificio Portales, Local 1
Dressing Fishermen and Triathletes from Head to Toe
Posted 28 January 2012 - 07:45 AM
What is 'pozo water'?
It seems I may be getting a mite carried away with my fanatical disinfecting. It's been at least 7 years since I've had anything but at one time over about a 3 year period back in the earlier 2000's I went through 3 bouts of e. histolytica and 1 of giardia. So that's why I'm so paranoid.
I'm still deciding what to do as I watch the last of my US disinfectant run out. Have about a week left. Maybe just soap and water and then a soak in purified water with half a cup of h202 added to it. And even that is probably over kills. If I get sick again, being the canary in the mine shaft and all with my digestive track, will post the bad news here.
One thing this thread and the one about flu/dengue has done is reminded me to be even more vigilant about hand washing after handling money are going out pretty much anywhere. Just think how many hands touch the walking stairway rails in the Mega every day when you include crew and passengers from the cruiseships as well.
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