How to Disinfect Vegetables That Have Amoebas

Disinfect raw vegetables to kill amoebas.
Disinfect raw vegetables to kill amoebas. (Image: Jupiterimages/Brand X Pictures/Getty Images)

Amoebic dysentery is unpleasant to say the least. Some fall prey to it while in a foreign country trying to enjoy a well deserved vacation. Eating amoeba contaminated raw vegetables is a common way to get amoebic dysentery. When dystentery is a concern, you must disinfect any raw vegetables and fruit before consuming them -- whether you intend to peel them or not. Disinfect the vegetables as soon as they come home from the store and you'll prevent contamination and make sure your kitchen remains a healthy place to eat.

Things You'll Need

  • Disinfectant
  • Bowl
  • Colander

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Wash the vegetables with running tap water. This is OK even if the water may be a source of amoebas. The disinfectant will handle those. And it will work much more effectively once visible surface soil is removed.

Soak the raw vegetables in a clean bowl filled with a commercial vegetable disinfectant listed as an amebicide (like Microdyn and Bacdyn). Follow the manufacturer's instructions for dilution rates and soaking times. If you do not have access to a disinfectant, soak the solution in a bleach solution for five seconds. For a more natural option, use a grape seed extract based disinfectant and soak for the manufacturer-recommended amount of time. Or, soak in a solution of one part water and three parts vinegar for one minute.

Wash and dry your hands.

Remove the vegetables from the soak and place them in a clean colander to drip completely dry. If you used chlorine bleach, rinse them first with bottled water.

Tips & Warnings

  • Cooking vegetables will kill an amoeba.
  • The temperature of the rinse and soak water should be slightly higher than the temperature of the vegetables. Otherwise, the flesh of the vegetables may uptake surface microorganisms.
  • You can use a solution of commercial vegetable disinfectant repeatedly -- as long as there is no visible soil or sediment in the solution.


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