Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Better safe than sorry - how do you wash salad greens at home? (2)

Post by Elena Di Paola (FAO) - Picture by Luca Servo (FAO)

How accurate are we when it comes to wash salad greens? Are we aware they often come from contaminated fields (especially in West Africa)?
Are we really able to remove dangerous pathogens from the salad we eat?

Under the IFAD tent, Dr. Philip Amoah from CGIAR, IWMI from Ghana, with his lively style and effective practical approach, handed out very useful suggestions on how to do the job right. Participants passing his stand were asked how they wash salad at home. Some of them simply rinse it with water, others also rub it...but this is definitely not enough! It seems that most of them use the wrong method, but Philip and his colleague Juliana (who was managing the practical demonstration) were there to give instructions.

Juliana displayed the different methods used to wash salad in West Africa, most of these are not safe and should be replaced with the correct one that consists of the following:
  1. Use half tablet of chlorine in five litres of water to wash salad
  2. Or use a knife tip or one tablet of potassium permanganate in 5 litres of water
  3. Or use a tea spoon of "Eau de Javel" (bleach) in five litres of water
  4. Or use one part of vinager in five parts of clean water
  5. Each time the vegetable should be soaked for five-ten minutes and then rinsed with clean water.
An interesting video on kitchen safety options was shown during the demonstration for more detailed information.

The cherry on the cake (or should we say in the salad?!) were the fresh sandwiches made with accurately washed lettuce, served to those stopping by the stand and following the demonstration!

Even the Ambassador of Ghana paid her compliments; after visiting the stand she volunteered to wash some salad leaves according to the safe method.

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