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Wednesday, August 22, 2012


Today, a safety tip when it comes to melon. -- AP

Remember all those tainted cantaloupes last year? People all across the country became ill with listeria. Some died. Many people wondered how you could get sick from eating a fruit where you don’t eat the rind. Think about it: the melon sits in dirt and is also handled by many people from the time it’s picked until you bring it home. In the case of last year’s listeria outbreak, the soil was contaminated, but anyone touching a melon can also contaminate it with listeria, e coli, salmonella, or any number of other bacteria.

In the case of the listeria-infected cantaloupes, even after the source of the listeria was determined and melons were removed from supermarkets, people still got sick. Listeria has a very long incubation period, much longer than many other food borne bacteria, sometimes as long as two months.

Yet, here it is summer, and you can’t beat a sweet cantaloupe on a hot summer day. Here’s how you avoid getting sick: WASH THE RIND! That’s right. When you slice through the melon, any bacteria on the rind will transfer to the knife and from the knife to the melon meat. Washing the rind with an antibacterial dish detergent, will kill any bacteria on the rind.

Simple solution, isn’t it? So don’t be afraid to enjoy that cantaloupe this summer. Or any other melon, for that matter. But do wash the rind before cutting into them.

This is one of those tips that makes so much sense, I feel like smacking my head for not thinking of it! Thanks, Janice! Readers, p
ost a comment for a chance to win a book from our Book Club Friday guest author. -- AP

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