Why You Should Wash A Melon Before Chowing Down | WAMU 88.5 - American University Radio

NPR : News

Filed Under:

Why You Should Wash A Melon Before Chowing Down

Have you ever heeded the advice to wash and dry a melon before digging in? Does anyone actually eat the skin of a honeydew or a cantaloupe anyway?

Well, even if you're not planning on a mega-dose of fibrous skin and rind, there is a good reason to rinse off that melon: germs. The knife that cuts through the melon's tough exterior can transfer nasty bugs to the sweet flesh you do consume.

That's why the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and other public health agencies are reminding people to wash produce, including cantaloupes, amid an investigation into an outbreak of listeriosis reported in a half-dozen states that so far has been linked to the deaths of four people.

Interviews with people who got sick "strongly suggest that illnesses are linked to consumption of cantaloupes," the CDC said. Most of the cases have occurred in Colorado and New Mexico.

Some of the people recalled that the cantaloupes they ate came from the Rocky Ford area of Colorado. Colorado health officials warned people especially vulnerable to listeriosis, a bacterial infection marked by fever and muscle aches, to avoid the suspected melons:

Although washing and drying produce is a good practice, it does not reduce the chance of listeriosis for those who are at high risk. If you are at high risk for listeriosis, do not eat Rocky Ford cantaloupe.

Who's at risk? Pregnant women, newborns, people with weak immune systems, including those with AIDS. The elderly are also at greater risk.

For help with washing technique, check out this handy NPR guide from few years back. The experts and a mom give their two cents.

Copyright 2011 National Public Radio. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

NPR

4 Out Of 5 Puzzlers Say These Things Are The Same

Rearrange the letters in a four-letter word and a five-letter word to get a pair of synonyms. For example, given "time" and "night," you would say "item" and "thing."
NPR

Italian Cheese Lovers Find Their Bovine Match Through Adopt A Cow

The cheeses of the Italian Alps are prized for their flavor. But the tradition of cheese-making here is dying off. Now remaining farmers are banding together around an unusual adoption program.
WAMU 88.5

Hogan's Pick For Transportation Secretary To Get Second Day Of Scrutiny

Lawmakers in Maryland's executive nominations committee didn't get in all the questions they had for Pete Rahn during his confirmation hearing last week, so they will take another pass Monday.

NPR

A Neuroscientist Weighs In: Why Do We Disagree On The Color Of The Dress?

Robert Siegel speaks with Dr. Bevil Conway, a neuroscientist at Wellesley College, about the dress that has the whole Internet asking: What color is it?

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.