Around the world, many people get ill and recently 22 people in Germany died from microbial contamination on fresh produce and hundreds more have been hospitalized.
Microbial contamination of our food is a very real problem. Seafood tops the list but so-called 'fresh' produce is often anything but fresh.
There are product recalls and health alerts on salads, sprouts, tomatoes, chicken, ground beef ... the list goes on.
A report that reviews previous data has found that five common food borne pathogens may increase the risk of serious complications, according to lead author Tanya Roberts, of the Center for Food Borne Illness in Grove City, Pa. in the USA.
"Our report addresses the fact that most food borne pathogens can cause severe disease," Roberts said during a press briefing. "These serious or long-term complications include kidney failure, paralysis, seizures, hearing and visual impairment, and mental retardation."
The five major pathogens are Campylobacter, E. coli, Listeria monocytogenes, Salmonella and Toxoplasma gondii. But more than 200 pathogens can contaminate food and cause disease, Roberts said.
While the severity of the acute infection varies greatly, depending on the pathogen and the patient's own vulnerability, the most common symptoms are diarrhea and vomiting. But even after a patient recovers from these symptoms, they may have to deal with longer-term effects.
Roberts said foodborne illness "must be recognized as a serious public health issue if we want to make meaningful progress in reducing sickness, injury, death and long-term complications associated with foodborne disease."
The World Health Organization has even addressed this matter as important to our future as multi-drug resistant bacteria can kill us. What is the mildest infection today might be lethal tomorrow.
The challenge is that repeated food poisoning can make us very ill long term. Systemic infections of antibiotic resistant bacteria can be extremely debilitating and even lethal. Our guts can get leaky and we begin to suffer from food sensitivities and allergies, some with life-threatening symptoms (eg anaphylactic shock). Our kidneys can fail and our livers too. Google the health consequences of repeated food poisoning and be prepared for some horror stories.
Birds, animals and soil residues, polluted water (and sewage-loaded sea water) can add a whole community of micro-organisms to the outside of your food.
It is estimated that up to 25 pairs of hands might handle your fruit or vegetables from the farm up to the time it gets onto your plate. This can add the even more harmful human contamination. We have all heard about E. coli which is a faecal coliform or an indicator of human waste contamination and generally comes from unwashed hands but sneezing or even talking or coughing over food can add human bacteria that make others sick.
The very old and very young are particularly susceptible.
Food contamination is becoming a real issue.
This is a snapshot of the recent blog headlines from Food Safety News, an industry journal in the USA:
- Nearly 16,000 lbs. of Deli Meat Recalled Due to Possible Listeria Contamination
- 2,330 ill, 627 with Hemolytic Uremic Syndrome and 22 Dead in E. coli O104:H4 Outbreak
- SW Virginia child dies of E. coli
- Tennessee - E. coli Outbreak - 1 dead, 2 hospital and 7 others sick
- Shigella in Kentucky
- Virginia child dies of E. coli, brother in Tennessee Hospital
- German based E. coli O104:H4 Outbreak is now second largest and most deadly in history
And it doesn't need to be human food that can make you sick. Recently, a pet product (pigs' ears for dogs) contaminated with Salmonella could easily have cross-contaminated anyone handling the product while rewarding their dog with a chew.
Some of our foods are process-washed in highly chlorinated water but this only reduces the microbial load slightly and is often designed more to chill the foodstuff to slow enzymic degradation than to address microbial decontamination. It really only washes off some of the dirt and debris, particularly from root vegetables. Some companies then use antibiotic-like chemicals which lead to the emergence of super-bugs that we'll have no defense against if we do get sick.
Other industries use acids and oxidizing chemicals such as peracetic acid (marginally effective and not ideal for meat products) but these have multiple challenges for the food quality and those using the chemicals.
And did you know that the Australian cherry growers use dipping baths for their cherries and of the 2 fungicides they add to this bathwater, ONE IS BANNED IN EUROPE!!! So our government regulators allow a banned fungicide to remain on our cherries. Have you ever eaten store-bought cherries without washing them?
Most fruit and vegetable washes available for home use are either:
They all claim they reduce bacterial loads but tests have shown they are no better than water alone.
In an independent test, three of the commercially available fruit and vegetable washes in the USA were compared to water alone. Two of the products actually resulted in promoting microbial growth after using them according to the instructions given.
Several of the products advertise that they are 300-400% more effective than rinsing with water alone but this claim was shown to be false. In fact, these products showed little, if any, benefit.
And read the ingredients list on these products and they are little more than solutions of synthetic preservatives such as benzoate or sorbate. Others are just soapy water and their claims are all about removing the waxes and surface coatings on our produce which harbor bacteria.
Herbal-Active® Natural Food Rinse and Sanitizer is a powerful, broad spectrum antimicrobial which has been third party tested and shown to reduce microbial levels dramatically with just a simple dip and drain process. Starting from levels which would be considered extremely toxic if ingested (20,000,000 cfu or colony forming units per gram) a brief immersion in Herbal-Active® solution dropped the contamination level to near zero (<5 cfu/g). Scientists describe this as a 7-log reduction.
Using Herbal-Active® Natural Food Rinse and Sanitizer for your food will save you money in the produce you can eat rather than what you have to throw away through spoilage. The fresher you dip the produce, the longer it will last and the safer it will be for you and your family.
Fresher4Longer Natural Food Rinse™ contains steam-distilled essential oils and CO2 extracts bound onto natural Acacia gum which acts as an emulsifier. The essential oils are harmless to humans but powerfully lethal to micro-organisms.
The active ingredients are common flavours which are found in a wide variety of culinary herbs and spices. This makes our product completely safe. In fact, many of the components are also powerful antioxidants and fight free radicals keeping us healthy.
The active ingredient in this product (Herbal-Active®) is also approved for use in organic products (foods, beverages and cosmetics) by Organic Food Chain and Australian Organic Certified and is used in a host of products as an antimicrobial agent replacing chemical preservatives which cause hyper-activity in children and are slowly affecting consumers of any age.
Another major advantage of Fresher4Longer Natural Food Rinse™ is that it kills all bacteria, yeasts and moulds and fungi. And while bacteria can make us ill, it's the moulds and fungi that turn bags of fresh produce into an unrecognizable olive-brown slime.
Using Fresher4Longer Natural Food Rinse™ for your food will save you money in the produce you can eat rather than what you have to throw away through spoilage. The fresher you dip the produce, the longer it will last and the safer it will be for you and your family.
Fresher4Longer Natural Food Rinse™ is now being used by manufacturers and chefs. One New Zealand meat processor recently provided a comment: "We are happy with Herbal-Active® (the active ingredient in Fresher-Longer™) and continue to extend its use into new products as a replacement for sorbate."
Another manufacturer dipped a range of fresh herbs in Fresher4Longer Natural Food Rinse™ before processing them into pesto. The comments were: "The shelf life was definitely extended even out past my target number of weeks and I noticed that the herbs stayed green for longer compared to previous pesto I have made. I am very pleased with it.
"Executive Chef Heiner Volkens of the Dockland Group of dining venues in and around Sydney's Darling Harbour food precinct was happy for us to identify him and his use of Fresher4Longer Natural Food Rinse™: "We now use Fresher4Longer Natural Food Rinse™ to sanitize all our vegetables and fruits, seafood and poultry and can be confident of serving our clients higher quality food. What's more, our produce lasts longer reducing the cost of food waste."
Another benefit, particularly in warmer climates, is using Fresher4Longer Natural Food Rinse™ as a dipping solution for cut flowers. Many floral species suffer from Botrytis attack which browns petals and ends floral displays prematurely reducing colourful blooms to a mass of grey mould. A quick dip and drain (even dipping open buds and flower heads) can extend the life of cut flowers by several weeks.
Use Fresher4Longer Natural Food Rinse™ for:
Just a quick dip and drain, sanitizes the surface of fresh produce, meats, seafood etc and stops the growth of organisms that make toxins that can harm us. Your food will last longer as food spoilage organisms are killed extending the shelf life two, three or more times longer.
The pictured strawberries above show the comparison of dipped and un-dipped fruits after 10 days.
Order now to start protecting yourself and your family and start saving money and reducing produce waste.
Our pouch makes a full litre and typically this is sufficient to treat the produce a family of 4 consumes over 4 to 6 weeks.
International orders, add A$25 for shipping
Using Fresher4Longer Natural Food Rinse™ is simple. It comes in a stand up, spouted pouch with our unique natural powder inside. This saves on freight charges for you and has a lower carbon footprint than shipping a fully prepared product.
To make 1 litre:
Measure out 1 litre of luke-warm (not hot) water into a jug. Pour about a cupful into the bag through the large spout. Fully moisten the powder inside and break up any clumps by just pressing on the bag. Finally, fill up the bag with the remaining volume of water, refit the cap onto the spout and mix the solution well.
We recommend leaving the solution to stand for a minimum of 10 minutes or until the powder fully hydrates and you're ready to go. Store the prepared solution in your pantry and it's best out of direct light and away from any heat source. Shake the bag before use.
To use Fresher4Longer Natural Food Rinse™, pour a small amount, around a cupful into a flat-bottom container which is large enough to handle the produce items you need to rinse. Something wide enough to handle a zucchini or cucumber. All you need do is to put in say, your strawberries by the punnet or a few zucchini or tomatoes and swish the solution around to wet the surface of the produce.
You'll also discover where moulds like to live and learn tricks to deal with them too. For example, making sure that the stalks on your strawberries are thoroughly wetted ensures these berries last longer.
You only need enough solution to splash over the food item, not to soak or immerse it in solution. The idea is also to start with herbs, sprouts and salad greens, then vegetables and fruits before using the same solution for red meats, seafood and finally chicken. You can always strain the solution through a sieve if too much debris builds up.
International orders, add A$25 for shipping
Makes a full litre
Australian Functional Ingredients Pty Ltd
rear 167 Kingsgrove Rd Kingsgrove NSW 2208 Australia
Fresher4Longer Natural Food Rinse and Herbal-Active are trademarks of Cherikoff Global Pty Ltd and the product is made under license by Australian Functional Ingredients Pty Ltd.