Supermarket warning on fruit and vegetables due to possible listeria and E-coli risk

Secrets of Your Supermarket Food: Expert on hidden bacteria

In the last year, the coronavirus pandemic has caused supermarkets to increase their hygiene measures to keep shoppers safe. In Secrets Of Your Supermarket Food, presenters shared a warning of some germs and bacteria which could be lurking on supermarket food.

Hand sanitising stations have been put in place at the entrance of most supermarkets due to the pandemic.

Increase sanitising measures may help reduce the number of germs in stores, however the documentary showed such germs are not completely gone.

In Secrets Of Your Supermarket Food, presenters Sian Williams, Stefan Gates and Nisha Katona went on the search for the secrets of the most popular stores.

In the programme, which aired last night, Stefan aimed to find out just how many germs are on supermarket groceries.

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The presenter visited the University of Greenwich to investigate common groceries.

Stefan said: “Many of us like to give produce a good old squeeze for ripeness before we buy.

“But over the course of a day, a lot of hands may have touched the fruit or veg you end up putting in your basket.

“New research from the Food Standards Agency estimates that around 2.4 million cases of food-bourne illnesses occur in the UK every year, an increase on one million from a decade ago.”

He met with Dr Nazanin Zand who investigated what germs could be found lurking on fruit bought in the supermarkets.

Many fresh fruit and vegetable items in supermarkets are sold uncovered to cut back on packaging and to make it easier for shoppers to only buy what they need.

However, being left open could make them more susceptible to various germs.

When analysing various fruits bought at supermarkets, Dr Zand found a number of possible harmful bacteria.

The expert also looked at packaged food which found similar, if not more, bacteria was present.

In fact, all fruit and vegetable samples she examined showed some sort of bacteria.

She explained she found bacteria including staphylococcus, listeria monocytogenes and E-coli lurking on fruit.

Literia is most commonly found in food products and often has no symptoms.

However, it could cause side effects such as a high temperature, aches and pains, sickness and diarrhoea.

While E-coli can cause different symptoms depending on the person, it can also result in fever, diarrhoea or vomiting.

Horrifyingly, Dr Nazanin also revealed she discovered human faeces lurking on some of the samples.

After taking samples, Dr Zand explained: “We have a range of bacteria living on our skin which are sometimes useful for our body.”

However, she explained the bacteria could be spread to fruits and vegetables and cause illness such as “diarrhea and vomiting”.

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