How To Stay Safe From Cyclospora

How To Stay Safe From Cyclospora

How can you keep your food safe from the cyclospora bacteria that's sickened hundreds of people across the country?

This may surprise you—even if the label says "thoroughly washed" on pre-packaged salad, our experts say you should wash it anyway.

Executive chef Michael Ferraro of Delicatessen in New York City showed INSIDE EDITION's Les Trent the right way to wash pre-packaged salad.

"I serve tens of thousands of people a month. Even our stuff that's been triple-washed, we wash it. It's really quick and simple to do," said Ferraro.

First, wash your hands thoroughly with disinfectant soap. Next, fill a clean container with water and swirl the salad around to dislodge bacteria.

Ferraro said, "If there's anything that's on there, it's going to float down to the bottom."

Put the salad in a spinner to shake off excess water. If you don't have a spinner, you can use a clean towel. But make sure your countertop is clean.

"Leave it uncovered in the fridge for a little bit and then you're going to dry all the excess moisture off. Then put it in a Ziploc bag, or seal it up," said Ferraro.

The FDA says to keep your refrigerator at 40 degrees or below. Also, keep salads and produce separate from raw meat and uncooked seafood.

Dietician and nutritionist Keri Glassman told INSIDE EDITION, "One in six Americans each year will come down from food borne illness."

You may think you know how to wash fruits and vegetables, but think again. To do it the right way, use special abrasive gloves. Ferraro rinses produce like potatoes and carrots  with warm water, scrubbing it to remove bacteria. You can also use a brush, like he uses on corn.

Glassman said, "You want to make sure that you're using warm water and you're scrubbing the fruits and vegetables. That's the most important thing."

One extra precaution you can take when washing salads is adding a small amount of vinegar or lemon juice to the water.  

Just another way to keep your food safe and protect your family.