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Dan M

Disinfecting fruits and. vegetables

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6 minutes ago, Cincy said:

After living in the Chapala area for more than 18 months I have gradually reduced my disinfecting of fruit and vegetables to times only when guests are entertained or when a produce really looks like it needs treatment.  I never get sick so I assume I have built up some tolerance to the local bacteria just like the local people.  On my first 3 visits (weekly vacations) to Mexico, years ago, I was violently sick with stomach problems every time!

Obviously, the discussion of whether or not disinfectants are necessary for good health is a narrow topic within a much larger context: one`s overall health.  What is going on/has been going on in one`s gut, general body health, cleanliness of one`s home especially the kitchen, even how much exercise you get, etc. are all factors in whether one gets sick from eating local foods.  

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can you reuse soaking water or must you start with fresh pan of water/Microdyn for each bunch of vegetables?

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Fresh, each time is the way I do it. I also use "purified" water plus microdyn. Follow the instructions on the bottle for quantity. I don't do each veg or fruit separately, I put all of them in together except for fragile berries like blueberries or strawberries.

If you're going to peel it or cook it before eating, don't bother. If the package says "listo para comerse," (ready to eat) don't bother.

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I deal with a lot of indigenous people who of course do not desinfect.. not in Chiapas any way.. many of them die of salmonella and the doctors are telling everyone to desinfect.. so so much for thr "I do not desinfect" crowd. A friend of mine¿´s brother had salmonella for a while without much symptoms and he had 2 intestines perforations in 2 days, had 2 surgeries and almost died from it. It is 2 months later and he is still on a special diet and the family desinfect everythng.. In another family  I know the mother, father and the 3 kids all had typhod  also salmonella and were  extremely sick... Desinfect everything forget about getting used to the bugs.. .

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Whether in Mexico or in the USA its important to wash and disinfect your produce before eating. Someones' hands have been all over it, picking, packing ,shipping, unpacking, displaying and all the dirt associated with travel, sometimes as much as 1500 miles. I use colloidal silver that I make myself,but Abiosan or Microdyne use an industrial type of colloidal silver. You can also use a few drops of grapefruit seed extract or oregano oil. Some people use chlorine,but I wouldn't as its a poison, but in a pinch....Anyone who has ever had a food-borne illness can tell you at the best its no fun and at the worst it can kill you.

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1 hour ago, cafemediterraneo said:

Whether in Mexico or in the USA its important to wash and disinfect your produce before eating. Someones' hands have been all over it, picking, packing ,shipping, unpacking, displaying and all the dirt associated with travel, sometimes as much as 1500 miles. I use colloidal silver that I make myself,but Abiosan or Microdyne use an industrial type of colloidal silver. You can also use a few drops of grapefruit seed extract or oregano oil. Some people use chlorine,but I wouldn't as its a poison, but in a pinch....Anyone who has ever had a food-borne illness can tell you at the best its no fun and at the worst it can kill you.

Not only that here in the city of San Luus Potosi some of the market gardners plots use black water they pump out of the covered cement canals on their way to the northen sewage treatment plant in dry season. Local TV news sometimes have reported it when they get caught here and the fine is peanuts. I haven't seen this for a couple of years on TV but suspect some still do it. I see fields of lettuce, carrots, cabage, lots of onions, melons etc. when driving side roads close to the city. I presume it happens elsewhere.

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Coincidentally, I had a doctors appointment with my GP on last Tuesday and somehow got talking about the borderline irrationality some have about germs. She said "That's on you gringos, we Mexicans are still sane. Don't worry, get dirty". I almost pissed myself.

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There are towns on the south side of Lake Chapala that have zero expats, for those who can't stand their own kind. In fact, I hear the Tarahumara in the Copper Canyon are always looking for a new wise man.

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5 hours ago, bmh said:

I deal with a lot of indigenous people who of course do not desinfect.. not in Chiapas any way.. many of them die of salmonella and the doctors are telling everyone to desinfect.. so so much for thr "I do not desinfect" crowd. A friend of mine¿´s brother had salmonella for a while without much symptoms and he had 2 intestines perforations in 2 days, had 2 surgeries and almost died from it. It is 2 months later and he is still on a special diet and the family desinfect everythng.. In another family  I know the mother, father and the 3 kids all had typhod  also salmonella and were  extremely sick... Desinfect everything forget about getting used to the bugs.. .

I was having a conversation with my carpenter and somehow we were on the topic of stomach problems- I said something to the effect of "I guess Mexicans are immune to the parasites and bacteria here". He looked at me like I was crazy and said of course not, that his family doctor prescribes a round of anti-parasite pills for all his family members every 6 months. 

Gringoes who think that we develop some kind of immunity from the bacteria and parasites here after awhile are simply ignorant. Of course, we all have different levels of immune system function and general health, so some people may get sick from the same meal that their dinner partner doesn't. But no one is "immune" from these things. 

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I agree with you 100% mudgirl... Some people are more resistant and I doubt it has anything to do with locals versus not local.. Some change of bug can upset our stomach and that we can get used to but get a good dosis of any type of salmonella or amoebas or giarda or e-coli and so on and no one is totally immune or get immunity. I laughed when I saw the post.." I have been here for 18 months and.".. 

I have been here for 18 years and I still get sick and my indigenous friends who have been here all their lives also get sick.. get serous folks..we all get sick one day or another if we are in the right or wrong situation.

 

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2 hours ago, mudgirl said:

I was having a conversation with my carpenter and somehow we were on the topic of stomach problems- I said something to the effect of "I guess Mexicans are immune to the parasites and bacteria here". He looked at me like I was crazy and said of course not, that his family doctor prescribes a round of anti-parasite pills for all his family members every 6 months. 

So, what are the anti-parasite pills the doctor prescribes? Even if we disinfect everything at home, we don't know how well restaurants do it.

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45 minutes ago, Frijoles said:

So, what are the anti-parasite pills the doctor prescribes? Even if we disinfect everything at home, we don't know how well restaurants do it.

There's a lot more ways that you can be exposed to something nasty when eating out than just the fruit and veggies not being properly disinfected. There's the food handling practices, the dishwashing, etc. There just isn't anywhere near the same level of health inspection (if any) in restaurants in Mexico as there is in Canada, the US, or, I imagine, Europe.

One thing I can tell you is that I've never gotten ill in Mexico in the 18 years I've lived here on street tacos, but I have gotten sick after eating in so-called "nice" restaurants. I prefer places where I can actually see the food-handling practices and the kitchen. 

As far as which pills, I can't remember what I took. Just ask your doctor or the pharmacist. I know it was 2 pills a day for 3 days.

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On 1/31/2018 at 9:51 PM, Dan M said:

What are the best and fastest ways to disinfect produce bought locally?. I just learned there are several different products for this, bacdyn, microdyn, iodine drops etc and it is necessary to soak or spray  all produce before eating or cooking.

This is a bit disconcerting as I have been cooking onions and mushrooms for my omlettes without going through any disinfecting process for a few days now....I read that Walmart sells a spray for berries that can not be soaked. Does every fruit and vegetable need to go through this process before cooking or eating?  Glad I found this out before contracting some terrible illness!!

The best thing to disinfect with is an Ozone Generator. They have a 1/4" hose and an airstone. Put water in bucket or sink drop in the bubbler and put in your fruit or vegies. Not only does it kill 99.8% of bacteria and virus it also removes insecticides and other contaminants, They are fairly cheap at $600-1200 pesos and last for years. check out these.

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3 hours ago, mudgirl said:

One thing I can tell you is that I've never gotten ill in Mexico in the 18 years I've lived here on street tacos, but I have gotten sick after eating in so-called "nice" restaurants.

Yes, 'they' say it's often not the food on your plate but the thumb of the server on your plate. 

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1 hour ago, geeser said:

The best thing to disinfect with is an Ozone Generator. They have a 1/4" hose and an airstone. Put water in bucket or sink drop in the bubbler and put in your fruit or vegies. Not only does it kill 99.8% of bacteria and virus it also removes insecticides and other contaminants, They are fairly cheap at $600-1200 pesos and last for years. check out these.

This is the first I've heard of this. Do you use one?

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The best inspectors for restaurants in Mexico is the general public (mostly Mexicans) and they sort out the good, the bad, and the ugly in a hurry.  They don´t need any government inspector to find an unclean eating establishment that they probably haven´t already pegged.  You don´t wont last long in all Mexican areas if you are not hygienically operating.

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12 hours ago, Frijoles said:

This is the first I've heard of this. Do you use one?

I have used one for the  last 21 years. The only problem is when I bubble citrus and so not immediately juice them. The next morning they are dried out as the ozone has removed all the oils. Makes no physical difference with lettuce, greens, tomatos or other fruits or vegies. If you put a raw chicken in the bubble water you can see the fat boil off of it into the cold water. The items to be sterilized take only 5 to 10 minutes in the water. You can put this water in a spray bottle for berries. You have to be careful not to get the water on your colored clothes while it is bubbling as it will bleach many of them.

All bottled water uses ozone to sterilize water and bottle.

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Restaurant inspection in most US states is seldom recent, and often 'bought'.  That sign in the window causes unjustified confidence in the public.  Most restaurant kitchens, even the most expensive, would make you depart quickly, if you saw them.

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15 hours ago, Frijoles said:

Yes, 'they' say it's often not the food on your plate but the thumb of the server on your plate. 

You mean some waiters don't read the sign in the sanitario that says "debe lavarse las manos"? Imagine that, I thought that protected us.

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