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Wash fruits and vegetables correctly: some tips from experts

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Fruits and vegetables are an essential part of life, but it’s important to know that raw foods can expose you to harmful microbes. According to the US Food and Drug Administration, consuming contaminated fruits and vegetables can increase the risk of food-borne illnesses, and alarming outbreaks caused by contaminated lettuce, spinach, and tomatoes have been reported over the past few years. The list of potentially harmful pesticides used to preserve food has caused so much concern that there is an annual ranking of foods containing the most pesticides, according to CNBC.

Think about the journey fruits and vegetables take from the garden and greenhouse, to the truck, to the grocery store, into the hands of others who may have touched them and checked them for ripeness, and then to your cart. That’s a lot of transport – speaks Carissa Galloway, Registered Dietitian, Protein Nutrition Consultant and Personal Trainer at Premier Protein Nutrition. – But also think about the different microbes and pathogens that come into contact with them, as well as the environment in which they are grown, such as dirt. We want to make sure that all of that is washed away and we’re only consuming great food products and not anything else.”

To protect yourself from eating contaminated fruits and vegetables, you should wash foods before eating them. But you need to do it right.

Keep food in the sink under cold water. Use a clean paper towel to remove any sand or dirt from your food. You can also use a clean brush that is used only for cleaning products. If you don’t plan to eat the food right away, dry it with a paper towel to preserve its ripeness. Leafy greens can also benefit from using a salad bowl to dry.


Some additional steps recommended by experts include cutting out any clogged or damaged parts of produce and removing clogged or torn leaves from cobs of lettuce or cabbage, as these are likely to contain more germs or dirt. While some foods can be washed several days before consumption, keep in mind that some fruits and vegetables, such as raspberries and tomatoes, should be washed immediately before consumption to prevent them from spoiling faster.

According to studies, when people use baking soda, it actually reduces bacteria. But both baking soda and vinegar can potentially affect the integrity of foods, causing them to spoil faster or change their taste.


Previously, FACTS wrote why some types of products cannot be washed and what will happen to them.



Author: Victoria MIKYTYUK, “FACTS”

Source: Fakty

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