Raccoon feces

(Question)

We have a little garden on our deck, with vegetables, flowers and trees. A raccoon is eating the plants and has recently started pooping in the planters.  We know about safe removal techniques, but wonder whether the feces will affect the vegetables?  Can they still be eaten?  Is there a special way to cleanse them so we can eat them

 

 

 

(Answer)

It sounds like the raccoon has chosen to use your planters as a latrine.  Unfortunately, it is not safe to eat the vegetables if they have been contaminated by raccoon feces. Raccoon droppings are dangerous because many contain tiny roundworm eggs that can infect humans and cause serious illness if accidentally swallowed or inhaled. Although these infections are rare, they can lead to irreversible brain, heart, and sometimes eye damage and death. Droppings should be picked up using gloves and disposed of in trash bags. For more information on this topic and how to dispose of raccoon droppings see 

https://www.cdph.ca.gov/HealthInfo/discond/Documents/RaccoonRoundworms.pdf

https://www.cbc.ca/news/technology/raccoon-droppings-a-hazard-says-nyc-health-official-1.828739