Classic case: you’ve been to the grocer, stocked up on delicious fresh produce, and now it’s time to prepare a meal for the day. What should we all do, but sometimes forget to do? Wash our fruit and veg before eating or cooking with it!
Why is it important to always wash produce before handling it? To ensure we get rid of any chemical and pesticide residue, debris or dirt from the exterior (and interior) of fresh fruit and veg. Washing produce also helps to prevent food-borne illnesses, including those caused by bacteria such as Salmonella, Listeria and E. coli.
Seed sprouts, leafy greens, and ready-to-eat fruits and salads are the most common produce items to be associated with foodborne illness outbreaks.
Vegetables that are grown in the ground have an increased risk of coming into contact with contaminants that live in soil. It’s important to note that fruit and vegetables can also become contaminated during their various production phases prior to arriving at your local greengrocer. From preparation through to storage in your fridge, there are plenty of opportunities for contaminants to live on your vegetables.
Washing your fresh produce with water is all you need – no soap or special wash required. Produce with tough skin such as potatoes, capsicums and beetroot can be scrubbed with a clean brush if desired. Softer-skinned vegetables like tomatoes should be washed under running water while gently rubbing the skin to remove dirt and bacteria.
Now that we’ve explained why it’s so important for you to always wash your fresh produce before eating or cooking with it… happy eating!