Kimchi, a traditional Korean dish of fermented peppers and vegetables can help prevent food poisoning according to a study published today and reported by the Chosun Ilbo newspaper.

The Food Safety Research Division of the Korea Food Research Institute said experiments found naturally-fermented kimchi effective in killing salmonella, staphylococcus, vibrio germs and E.coli bacteria.

A team led by Dr Lee Jong-gyeong conducted an experiment putting salmonella, E.coli O157:H7 and vibrio germs into well-fermented kimchi at pH 4.4. Four hours later, more than 99% of the bacteria were dead. Kimchi also disinfected vibrio germs 10 minutes after it touched the bacilli.

"Our study shows that kimchi can effectively ward off food poisoning by varying the ingredients or fermentation temperature," Lee said. "When eating foods susceptible to harmful bacteria, such as meat and fish, one can prevent food poisoning by accompanying them with kimchi."