How to Disinfect Vegetables That Have Amoebas

by Meg Butler

Disinfect raw vegetables to kill amoebas.

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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.

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.


  • 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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About the Author

Based in Houston, Texas, Meg Butler is a professional farmer, house flipper and landscaper. When not busy learning about homes and appliances she's sharing that knowledge. Butler began blogging, editing and writing in 2000. Her work has appered in the "Houston Press" and several other publications. She has an A.A. in journalism and a B.A. in history from New York University.