Unwashed green onions might get you foodborne illness

Many people like to use green onions as a garnish for their bright green colour. However, before using it, you must wash it thoroughly; sometimes, you might find dirt inside the hollow leaves. God knows what germs that dirt carries!

Green onion, also known as scallion, is a vegetable belonging to the Allium family, including garlic, onions, and shallots. It has long, green, hollow leaves and a small white bulb. Green onions have a mild, sweet flavour and are commonly used in various dishes for their taste and texture.

Green onions are a good source of vitamins A and C and minerals such as potassium, iron, and calcium. They are low in calories and fibre, making them a healthy addition to a balanced diet.

Green onions can be used in various dishes, including soups, stir-fries, salads, and omelettes. They are often used as a garnish for their fresh flavour and bright colour. When using green onions, it’s essential to wash them thoroughly and trim off the roots and any wilted or yellowing parts before using them in your dish.

Like any vegetable that grows in soil, green onions can carry bacteria and other germs if not properly washed before use. Some common bacteria found on unwashed green onions include E. coli, Salmonella, and Listeria. These bacteria can cause foodborne illnesses if they are ingested. To reduce the risk of foodborne illness, washing green onions under running water and using a brush to scrub any dirt or debris from the surface is recommended.

Additionally, it is vital to store green onions to prevent bacterial growth properly. They should be stored in a cool, dry place and consumed within a few days of purchase. If you notice any spoilage, such as wilting or discolouration, discard the green onions to avoid the risk of illness.

The severity of illness resulting from infection with E. coli, Salmonella, or Listeria can vary depending on several factors, including the strain of the bacteria, the individual’s age and overall health, and the amount of bacteria ingested.

The symptoms of foodborne illness caused by these bacteria can include nausea and vomiting, diarrhoea (which may be bloody), abdominal pain and cramping, fever and chills, headache, and muscle aches.

In some cases, particularly in young children, elderly individuals, or people with weakened immune systems, foodborne illness caused by these bacteria can be more severe. They can lead to complications such as dehydration, kidney failure, and meningitis.

Suppose you are experiencing symptoms of foodborne illness after consuming green onions or any other food. In that case, it is crucial to seek medical attention, mainly if your symptoms are severe or persist for more than a few days. Your healthcare provider can provide treatment and advice to help you recover from your illness.

To wash green onions properly, follow these steps:

– Trim off the root end of the green onions.

– Remove any wilted or yellowing leaves.

– Rinse the green onions under cool, running water to remove dirt or debris.

– Gently rub the surface of the green onions with your hands to help remove any dirt or debris that may be stuck to the leaves. If desired, you can use a vegetable brush to scrub the surface of the green onions to remove any stubborn dirt or debris.

– Rinse the green onions under cool, running water to remove any remaining dirt or debris.

– Pat the green onions dry with a clean paper towel or cloth.

There is no need to use a special liquid soap to wash green onions or other vegetables. Simply rinsing them thoroughly under excellent running water should be enough to remove any dirt or debris that may be present. Using soap or other cleaning products on vegetables may be unsafe, as these products are not intended for consumption and may leave behind harmful residues.

Green onions can be eaten raw or cooked, depending on the recipe and personal preference. In many dishes, green onions are used as a garnish or added near the end of cooking to add a fresh, onion-like flavour.

However, suppose you are concerned about bacteria or other germs that may be present on the surface of the green onion. In that case, it is recommended to cook them thoroughly. Cooking green onions at a high enough temperature will help to kill any harmful bacteria that may be present.

When cooking green onions, it’s important to avoid overcooking them, as this can result in a loss of flavour and texture. Sautéing, grilling, or roasting green onions can help bring out their natural sweetness and enhance their flavour.

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