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How to help prevent E. Coli in a home vegetable garden?

How to help prevent E. Coli in a home vegetable garden?

Answer:

Good question, Home consumption is generally okay. The store bought manure has to actually go through a curing phase to help kill bacteria.(heated up in its own bacteria pile) The water used is suppose to be tested for acceptable levels of bacteria.(If government controlled). If you have your own catchment system then you are suppose to have bacteria filters as well. The recent contamination is due to poor handlling of vegetables. They did not pass the inspections that our health inspectors are suppose to give.
If you wash your hands before handling the veggies, and don't use fresh manure from the local farm, you should be ok. If you do use manure, make sure it ages a year or so (google that) I think it is runoff from cattle holding pens and field workers who can't wash their hands that are causing the problems. The water used is from open irrigation channels, not well water. Well water shouldn't be contaminated, but you can get it tested (call up your extension service for info). You should do that periodically anyhow. If you have city water, there is no way there can be E. coli in there unless their system failed in a big way.
There are thousands of varieties of escherychia coli, with only one, perhaps two being harmful. There is little if anything that can be done in the growing process to prevent e coli. The best way to avoid an e coli infection from your vegetables is to cook them thoroughly before eating them. A temperature of 180 degrees for at least 60 seconds should be sufficient to kill e coli. Note: Contrary to other posts below, washing WILL NOT remove e coli. You can wash your vegetables all day long and the e coli will still be there, alive and strong.
I think most of the e.coli found on vegetables comes from poor hygiene practices in the vegetable packing sheds and dirty water thats used to wash down the veggies and packing areas, if you wash your veggies you should be fine, I'm pretty sure that the e.coli doesn't live in manure once it starts rotting down and should be safe by the time your plants are mature good luck Paul
More then likely you wouldn't get E Coli from your home grown vegtables. It usually happens in the processing. Just wash them up good.

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