You may have heard the worrying news that a strain of E.coli thought to have originated from pre-packed salads has killed two people in the UK and caused another 150 to become unwell, 62 of whom have been hospitalised.
The source is as yet unconfirmed, but so far all fingers point to it being rocket imported from the Mediterranean area.
'As an additional precautionary measure, we have advised a small number of wholesalers to cease adding some imported rocket leaves to their mixed salad products pending further investigations,' says Dr Isabel Oliver, director of PHE's field epidemiology service
So, what can you do to prevent yourself from being at risk?
Wash any vegetables intended to be eaten raw thoroughly, according to the Food Standards Agency.
The NHS has a fairly comprehensive guide on how to do this, but here's the need-to-knows:
They key is to remove any soil as that is where the bacteria will be.
- Wash under a running tap, then rub them in a bowl of water, before giving them a final rinse.
- It's especially important to wash loose vegetables, as they likely have more soil attached, but you should also wash pre-packed salad.
- Peeling can also remove bacteria.