It is necessary to know how and why to disinfect an open watermelon, to prevent its consumption from being harmful. This is due to the fact that it is common to find fruits cut in half or quarters in the sales of fruits and vegetables, thus showing their juicy interior. But this practice can be very harmful to the health of the consumer, since the exposure of the interior of the fruit encourages the growth of bacteria that can cause serious infections .
Watermelon pulp is 90% water, something that makes it a conducive medium for the development of bacteria, especially when it is not properly refrigerated. An example of the danger involved in eating sliced watermelon occurred in 2018 in the United States, when 70 people were poisoned by salmonella from this cause.
Just to avoid similar cases of mass poisoning, the Madrid Regional Ministry of Health launched a campaign with the slogan Cut fruit, always refrigerated! This campaign sought to make the community population aware of the risks involved in keeping cut fruits without refrigeration.
Why disinfect an open watermelon?
The bacteria that cause listeriosis or salmonellosis are found in insects and rodents that often swarm in fruit and vegetable stores. When these move on the closed fruits, they can contaminate their exterior, although this does not affect their pulp or meat, protected by the skin or peel. But the employees, when cutting them, can transmit the bacteria inside them, a medium that is ideal for their reproduction, in the particular case of melon and watermelon.
How to disinfect an open watermelon?
Disinfecting the exterior of a watermelon is very simple, it is enough to wash it under a jet of abundant water, preferably warm. Some people, especially in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic, tend to rinse the outside of fruits with vinegar, although there is no evidence that this method is really efficient.
Sterilizing the exposed inner surface is quite complicated, so cut the exposed part to a depth of half a centimeter, and discard the cut. And refrigerate the fruit, since the cold prevents bacterial reproduction, and better preserves the nutrients, including vitamins. And if you can cover the exposed interior area with plastic wrap, so much the better.
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