Yes, were eating healthy food; fruits and vegetables! It is one of our shields from diseases. Hey, how sure are we that they function this way? Studies have shown fresh fruits and vegetables are a great source of vitamins and minerals which are needed by our bodies. At the same time, we encounter a lot of food-borne problems related to fresh produce. Washing fruits and vegetables is the best way to reduce your risks for food-borne illness. According to the FDA (U.S. Food and Drug Administration), you should wash raw fruits and vegetables very well before you peel, cut, eat or cook them.
Here are some tips that could help us to make sure that were eating clean fruits and vegetables:
- Wash your hands before and after preparing food.
- Clean your counter top, cutting boards, and utensils before and after using
- Do not wash fruits and vegetables with soaps or detergents.
- Use clean potable cold water to wash items.
- For fruits and vegetables with thick skin, use a vegetable brush to help wash away hard-to-remove microbes.
- Vegetables like cauliflower, broccoli or lettuce should be soaked for 1 to 2 minutes in cold clean water.
- Fragile fruits like raspberries should not be soaked in water instead spray them with distilled water.
- After washing, dry with clean paper towel.
- Do not rewash packaged products labelled “ready-to-eat,” “washed” or “triple washed.”
- Once cut or peeled, refrigerate as soon as possible at 40ºF or below.
- Do not purchase cut fruits and vegetables that are not refrigerated.
- Leafy greens from the farmers market, grocery store, farm or garden should be stored at 35-40°F within two hours of harvesting or purchasing.
- Wash greens by separating leaves and soaking them in a bowl of cool water for a few minutes. Drain the greens using a strainer or colander and repeat this process.
- Drain leafy greens with a clean strainer or colander, then dry with a clean towel or salad spinner. Salad spinners should be thoroughly cleaned with warm soapy water after every use.
Some of the fruits and vegetables that contains lots of chemicals and pesticides are: celery, peaches, strawberries, apples, blueberries, sweet bell pepper, grapes, potatoes, cherries and etc. Chemicals and pesticides that are used for fruits and vegetables are the primary culprit of the food-borne illnesses.
Prevent food-borne illnesses from striking you and your family. Just make the habit of hand washing fruits and vegetables before eating them.