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Newly Invented Device Makes Cleaning Leafy Greens Easy

Students at the University of Houston Conrad N. Hilton College of Hotel and Restaurant Management have invented a device which makes cleaning and sanitizing leafy greens as easy as a flick of the button. Traditionally, this type of cleaning is done either by hand or through the use of mass cleaning agents, but the problem is that harmful germs and bacteria are oftentimes still intact. This new device has proven to be effective at both removing dirt from the greens and properly sanitizing them.


How Serious is Leafy Green Contamination?

Most people only associate food poisoning with raw meats such as pork or chicken. However, grad student Cecilia Zerio Elgi states “Leafy greens have the highest incidence of food-borne illness outbreaks from a variety of pathogens nationwide, and there is not a lot of research available for smaller farms to access methods for efficiently and economically washing produce before it goes to markets.”

In looking at research from the Center of Science in The Public Interest (CSPI), they rank leafy greens at the top of their list for riskiest food. According to their study, CSPI states that leafy greens are responsible for 24% of all non-meat food poisoning. Leafy greens can become contaminated with bacteria and parasites in a number of different ways, such as poor handling, exposure to tainted water and contact with animals just to name a few.


About The Cleaning Device

The device, invented by Zerio Egli, consists of a 5-gallon stainless steel drum, PVC piping and a strainer. The leafy greens are placed directly inside of the drum and spun around as they’re showered with water from above. After the majority of the dirt is removed, the greens are lowered into the drum where a solution of water and vinegar work to sanitize them. The greens are raised back into their original position where they’re given another water shower to remove any excess vinegar. Some people may frown at the thought of eating greens soaked in vinegar, but it’s actually not noticeable after the cleaning process is completed.

Interestingly enough, Egli has no plans on selling his device. Instead, he’s going to write up a how-to for farmers and food manufacturers to make their own. It’s a simple device, but it’s proven to be quite effective at cleaning and sanitizing leafy greens. If more individuals and companies begin using Elgi’s cleaner, perhaps we’ll see fewer cases of non-meat food poisoning.

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