Proper Washing Needed To Prevent Food Borne Illness - News and Weather For The Quad Cities -

Proper Washing Needed To Prevent Food Borne Illness

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A food borne illness continues to spread across Iowa.

45 cases of Cyclosporiasis, have now been reported.

the infection is caused by a rare parasite.

state health officials do not know where it's coming from but they believe fresh vegetables are a likely culprit.

Proper washing of vegetables is necessary to make sure the parasite is not on food.

Iowa State Extension Nutrition Specialist Patricia Steiner trains restaurant workers on proper food preparation techniques and explains proper procedures.

Her biggest lesson is hand washing. "First, wet your hands. You want the water as warm as you can stand it but not too hot or you won't wash long enough," says Steiner. Wet, apply soap, and scrub. "You can sing Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star." Steiner says many food borne illnesses could be prevented if people washed their hands, but how you wash vegetables depends on the vegetable itself. There is not a one size fits all. For lettuce, pull apart every leaf and rinse. "Wash leaves in between, because there's more grime in it," says Steiner. Broccoli is a little tougher. "Rubbing it slightly is good, and I would go ahead and cut it apart," says Steiner. She also recommends pulling apart the florets for broccoli and cauliflower to get at any dirt or grime. Rougher vegetables are also harder to clean because they hold more grime. Steiner says, "Wash it under a full stream of water." For a tomato, "You can rub it gently, don't bruise it, just rub along the surface." If you have a potato or a cantaloupe then you want to scrub. Steiner says, "Stuff that has a real rough outside surface, a vegetable brush would be good to use." Finish scrubbing and you're done.

The State Public Health Department continues to trace the disease.

Symptoms include nausea, cramps, and diarrhea.

Because of the its rarity, a doctor will need to order specific tests to confirm a diagnosis.