How To Wash Your Fruits & Veggies
Today is International Picnic Day! And what better way to celebrate than spending time outdoors enjoying some fruits and vegetables in a picnic? However, before you enjoy that picnic, you may wonder: Should fruits & vegetables be washed? Regardless of the fruit or vegetable, they should at least be rinsed with water and given a good scrub before consuming.
Why is it important to wash fruits and veggies?
There's often dirt on produce that needs to be rinsed off. Plus, many fruits and veggies are sprayed with pesticides, which aren't necessarily safe for consumption. The most important reason for rinsing and scrubbing produce is to protect yourself from food-borne illnesses, such as E. Coli. The best time to wash produce is immediately before eating or cooking.
How should you wash your fruits and veggies?
Running water over your produce doesn't cut it. Start by properly washing your hands with soap and water to ensure no microbes are transferred from your hands to the product. Then, use running water and rub fruits and veggies briskly with your hands to remove dirt and surface microorganisms. For something with a hard rind or firm skin, a vegetable brush can be used to scrub the surface. Avoid using hot water, which can allow microorganisms to enter the stem or blossom end of the produce. You can also add baking soda to the water as a DIY vegetable wash.
Should some produce be washed more than others?
While all fruit and vegetables should be washed before consuming, it's especially important to pay attention to the "Dirty Dozen". The Dirty Dozen for 2019 includes strawberries, spinach, kale, nectarines, apples, grapes, peaches, cherries, pears, tomatoes, celery and potatoes. These items are more likely to test positive for pesticides.