Washing fresh produce under running water is a commonsense consumer defense. "We know you can wash off some Salmonella sp.," says Virginia Tech food microbiologist Robert Williams, who accompanied FDA scientists to Virginia farms as part of the tomato initiative. But, "nobody's ever shown it washes off all Salmonella."Water is an automatic first suspect. Was clean water used to irrigate, mix pesticides sprayed on crops, wash down harvest and processing equipment, and wash field workers' hands?Then in packing houses, tomatoes often go straight into a dump tank, flumes of chlorinated water for a first wash. To guard against Salmonella washed into the water in turn being sucked into the tomatoes, producers often keep wash-water 10 degrees warmer than the incoming crop, says food-safety scientist Keith Schneider of the University of Florida, also part of FDA's tomato initiative.
Aporte: Guillermo Figueroa