Would you eat this? Docs & Vets particularly?

A friend came by today with a gift of produce and eggs from her garden and chickens. I’m so very lucky. Unfortunately, there’s a problem.

Specifically, I told her to meet me at the door where most people take their dogs outside. The sidewalks, in hot weather, smell horribly. I got down there to find her picking up produce from the sidewalk. She’d tripped and everything had gone everywhere. The drizzle may have also weakened the paper bag she seemed to be carrying everything in. A few of the eggs had broken over the produce. It was a sight. Luckily for us, a passing man had stopped and offered her a plastic bag to gather up everything into.

I got home and rinsed egg off everything. It’s drying on towels on my counters now. I am inclined to think it’s all safe to eat, but I have some paranoia about doggie parasites (among other mammalian parasites that might be out & about on a city sidewalk) on/in my food.

So, it comes down to me being torn between REALLY not wanting to toss this food. It’s fresh, it’s beautiful, it was a gift from a friend! All that. And REALLY not wanting to get some horrible infection or worm or something. Really.

What would you all do?

I would wash it with dish soap, rinse well, and eat it. If she grew it in her home garden, it’s probably far cleaner, even after it took a tumble, than anything you can buy in a supermarket.

Food grows in dirt, you know. :slight_smile: There are all kinds of nasty stuff in there!

If you’re really worried, I personally would check out advice online like this food writer talking about produce in Mexico.

I would rinse it in a chlorox bath and then leave it for about 20 minutes before rinsing again in clear water. I don’t think it’s necessary for the average person, but I’m more than usually susceptible to food-borne illness, having suffered from ulceric colitis years ago.

Ha! I did think about food growing in dirt, that scary, scary substance! No, I just actually can’t tell if this is at all reasonable to worry about. Mostly, I think not, but one past bad experience of a similar nature makes me hesitant.

Heart of Dorkness, I don’t/didn’t think to use dish soap. That does seem like a good idea.

TruCelt, a bleach bath, eh? I wonder if that’d destroy the tomatoes. Everything else would probably be fine.

I’d eat it.

Here’s an article from NPR about the best ways to clean produce. They suggest a vinegar/water solution.


Farm boy here. Trying not to laugh.
Take it to the sink. Rinse it. Eat it. Enjoy it. Forget it.

Hey, laugh all you want! I’m laughing at both the situation, and the fact that I honestly don’t know if this is an issue. It feels like something I should just know. It’s okay to poke fun.

I did take it to the sink & rinse. I can’t eat it all just yet. Too much food. We’ll eat it over the course of a few days.

At the moment, I’m leaning toward tossing any tomatoes that have split and vinegar washing the rest. Which is a bit more than rinsing at the sink, but I’m ok with that. :slight_smile:

Or use the tomatoes in a recipe where they’ll be heated – soup, chili, spaghetti sauce, on top of a pizza.

Because tossing fresh garden tomatoes? :frowning:

Vinegar? Yecchhh! Maybe on things intended for a salad. Really didn’t mean to make fun of you. Just seemed, well, funny.

Oh No. You didn’t wash it off in that horrible tap water did you? You don’t know what “they” put in that. I’ll be right over to take this food off your hands and dispose of it promptly. One plate at a time. hehehe.

It should be fine. Enjoy it and be sure to tell your neighbor how much you enjoyed it. She might give you more but you’ll have to pick it up yourself to prevent her from falling on your property again. In the rain.

At least you know where it’s been.

You really don’t want to know what’s happened to that nice, clean-looking produce you buy from the supermarket.

Vinegar has a different ph than (most?) bacteria and that ph difference kills the bacteria. A vinegar wash followed by a water rinse will make the food save to eat.

The most common parasites in dogs are roundworms, hookworms, and tapeworms. Everything I’ve been able to find so far in a quick Google search indicates that bleach won’t kill the eggs of these parasites, which is the part you’re worried about. Your best bet is to wash them well with soapy water and remove any dirt that may have gotten onto them. To be honest, though, any produce grown in an outdoor garden has some of the same risks attached, so I personally wouldn’t treat this stuff any differently than I would a tomato I got from the garden.

If you’re still very concerned (we’re all allowed a little irrationality now and then), you can cook or freeze the produce, because heat and freezing will kill the eggs.

doorhinge you’re welcome to come on over. We can together tell my friend how nice it was!

DCnDC my produce is rarely clean looking. I typically buy from a variety of farmers I know well or well-ish (depending on the farmer). I still want to eat my friend’s stuff more. :smiley:

Antigen actually hit the nail on the head about my biggest concerns - worms and non-bacterial parasites. I just don’t know enough about these guys to be sure. I also wanted to be sure I wasn’t going to get some sort of bacterial nastiness, as I did once before in that similar situation, so the vinegar suggestion was very useful.

So, I went for the vinegar rinse followed by a water rinse. Letting these things dry. Almost everything was already destined to be cooked anyway, and so if that’s going to take care of the non-bacterial stuff, I’m happy. And I’m ok with looking a little bit paranoid, since I don’t know these things. :slight_smile:


Rinse and eat.

Yeah, I should have said the chlorine is for things you want to eat raw. It’s certainly true that most good produce has at least some manure in it’s growing medium. I wouldn’t use it on an “open” tomoatoe, but vinegar shouldn’t hurt those. (If so, just add basil, mozzerella, and fresh cracked pepper. LOL!)

If there are a lot of them, slice thickly, drizzle with olive oil, salt, and sliced garlic and arrange in a baking dish (edges slightly overlapping) to bake at 300 until they’ve shriveled and turned into yummy roasted tomatoes. They’re great on sandwiches, and the oil itself tastes amazing. :slight_smile:

And then follow up with a day’s soak in food grade (35%) hydrogen peroxide, followed by several water flushes to remove the H2O2, then chill at 40 degrees for 30 days. Cook thoroughly until golden brown.

Then I’d throw everything out.

Nah, I’d probably just wash well with water before eating. :slight_smile:

Oh, my - I’m thinking of all the critters that have pooped and pee’d in my garden over the years. And dirt, you know, the stuff things grow in. With bugs and worms and creepy crawlies.

Wash it thoroughly and enjoy it. If something like a tomato split and may have gotten contamination inside and you want to be very cautious then toss it. Cooking will also help eliminated germs and/or parasites if you’re still concerned.

But really, I’d just wash it and eat it.