The government is determined to protect Americans from food borne illness. Yet, despite the FDA’s efforts to monitor and improve the processing of the public food supply, we continue to experience outbreaks of bacteria on fresh and processed foods. Antibiotic resistant bacteria are on the rise, and there continues to be food contamination in unexpected places. Most recently, the outbreak of Listeria on Colorado sourced cantaloupe is a reminder that we do not have a perfect system. There are measures you can take to protect yourself from contaminated food.
Therapeutic Grade essential oils have been researched for decades on their antimicrobial effects against many bacteria including E. coli, Salmonella and Listeria monocytogenes. Oregano, Clove, cinnamon and Thyme have shown the most powerful effects against these bacteria, with research proving their effectiveness against at least 23 different bacteria including Streptococcous and Staphylococcus. Even Pharmaceutical manufacturers are seeing the potential of essential oils and are combining them with traditional antibiotics to improve the effectiveness of their products. Natural essential oils are not patentable, but a pharmaceutical antibiotic combined with a natural essential oil is. One company is experimenting with an edible, apple-based produce cover that includes cinnamon, allspice and clove essential oils.
Here are ways you can incorporate essential oil use into your food preparation routines:
- Always wash hands thoroughly with friction and warm water, making sure to completely rinse hands. For more effectiveness, soaps with essential oils of clove, cinnamon and rosemary are naturally antibacterial. Avoid hand soap with hormone disrupting Triclosan.
- Wash produce thoroughly with castille soap and 2-3 drops of essential oils of clove or thyme, or add the essential oils to your produce wash.
- Wash produce with an Immune boosting essential oil blend Household cleaner or DIY handsoap. Work up a lather onto the outside of the produce, allow to sit a few minutes then rinse thoroughly.
- Only put clean produce on your cutting boards and counters. Keep unwashed produce in grocery bags until you can wash it thoroughly and avoid contaminating counters.
Immune Boosting essential oil blend is a combination of essential oils of clove, cinnamon, rosemary and lemon. This powerful combination of essential oils has been researched to kill many bacteria including airborne mold spores (Aspergillus) within 12 minutes of diffusing. Bacteria can mutate easily against man-made antibiotics and chemical antibacterial products, they are less hardy against essential oils that vary slightly from season to season. When you choose products for your hand sanitizing and food purity, select food-grade essential oils that are safe for skin contact and potent enough to kill harmful bacteria.