Food Safety for Vegetarians

Food Safety for Vegetarians
February 15, 2013

Studies have shown that vegetarians are much healthier than those people who eat meats. In fact, a recent Oxford study showed the big difference between meat eaters and plant eaters.
You can learn more about it in our previous article about the study itself. Once you realize how much healthier you can be by choosing to eat vegetables and other plant based foods, you will need to know how to safely prepare and store them. Here is information on food safety for vegetarians.

Wash Everything

Since fruits and vegetables could have chemicals and even dirt on them, you will need to wash them thoroughly before you do anything else with them. This is especially true of lettuce and other leafy greens, which can harbor bacteria among the leaves. Make sure to wash all of the fruits and vegetables with cold water. For melons, gourds, and potatoes, make sure you use a brush to remove any residue of dirt or soil on them.

Avoid Packaged Produce

It is hard to see everything in that package and you certainly cannot determine if the pre-cut food is contaminated with any type of bacteria. Instead of buying produce that is cut and packaged, buy the produce whole and then cut it yourself. This can help you avoid a variety of different contaminants that could be found in the packaged foods.

Wash Your Hands

Although you will not be handling meats, you still need to ensure your hands are clean, especially if you will be handling ready to eat foods. Be sure to wash your hands thoroughly, and that means washing with an antibacterial soap between fingers and under fingernails.

Use the Right Cutting Boards

Some cutting boards are porous, and that means they can harbor bacteria no matter how much you wash them. Choose cutting boards that are not porous, like glass or acrylic. However, even with the harder surface, you need to wash the cutting board with hot water and the proper soap each time you use it.

Avoid Products that are Unpasteurized

This can include both fruit juices and dairy products. Unpasteurized products can harbor very serious illness and they are not safe for consumption under any circumstances.

You can become much healthier by becoming a vegetarian. However, you just need to make sure you know how to carefully prepare, store, and choose vegetarian foods so that you can avoid any type of contamination or food poisoning.