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Bacteria, pesticides, etc. on veggies

There is no doubt that you have to be more careful with meat/animal/
cheese foods than veggies, in that they normally will have a higher
bacterial count to start out with (off the scale for meats).

The problem with veggies is that during transport, handling
and other manipulation they come in contact with various
contaminants. This is not to imply that any are life-
threatening, but it is still important to try to handle
them properly.

Center for Science in the Public Interest (CPSI) has a
bulletin that they sell to raise money for their efforts.
It's rather expensive to get it, but they do have a web
site. They make these recommendations among others:

1. Always wash your fruits and veggies before you eat
or cook them. 

2. Always keep meat separate from any other cooking
products or foods. (But we all know this already).

3. Most meat products have a far shorter shelf life
than you think they do, and just because they smell
OK, does not mean that they are. But if they DO...
even slightly...look OUT!

4. When in doubt, throw it out.

5. Most pesticide residues can be washed away with 
simple dishwashing soap and lots of cold water. Even
better if you scrub them with a little scrub brush
while having water pour over them. (CSPI says 90%)

(I just put some dishwashing soap on my hands and 
wash the vegetables in my hands under cold running

As most of us are vegetarians, we have found that
the food we keep in the fridge lasts a lot longer
than the meat we used to have. Also, our refrigerators
don't stink as much, even when foods spoil. But
that is no substitute for careful food handling.

Wash it...than eat it.

Mike Rosenblatt