Learn how to wash your fruit and veggies with this simple tutorial. Keep your family healthy with these tips for cleaning your produce after you bring it home from the grocery store. Learn how to use cold vinegar to remove unwanted chemicals and germs from your fresh produce.
How to wash fruits and vegetables
It's always a good idea to wash your produce before you eat it. But what is the best method? Should you do it right away when you bring it home from the store or just before you eat it? What is the best way to wash it to get rid of pesticides and germs without damaging the food?
Washing your produce doesn't have to be complicated. A simple rinse under the tap in the kitchen sink and wipe with a clean cloth is usually all you need.
The probability of getting food borne illness from germs on the surface of your fruits and veggies is pretty slim.
Many fresh food items however, are coated with a waxy substance that is meant to help protect it. Some find that this substance can taste a little bitter.
There is also the possibility of pesticide residue on your fruits and vegetables that you will want to wash off.
Some fruits and vegetables are grown with more pesticides than others. Each year, the Environmental Working Group releases its "Dirty Dozen," a list of the fruits and vegetables you usually buy that are laden with the most pesticides.
The Dirty Dozen: Fruits and vegetables with the most pesticides
Conversely, the organization releases a "Clean Fifteen," which is, as you might imagine, the 15 kinds of produce they found to have few, if any bacteria. This year's list is:
Clean 15- Top Fruits and veggies grown without pesticides
- Sweet corn
- Sweet peas (frozen)
- Honeydew melons
So while washing produce is a good idea, you should take care to do a thorough job of it.
When ever it is possible you should buy organic, but even if you do- there can still be germs or bacteria on your fruit.
The source of these germs is likely other shoppers at the grocery store who could be coughing and sneezing in the produce section or spreading germs by manhandling pieces fruit to find the perfect one.
Supplies to wash fruits and vegetables
Directions for washing fruits and vegetables
- Fill a bowl with cold water.
- Add vinegar to the bowl. Use three parts water to one part vinegar.
- Add produce to the vinegar water and swish it around.
- Let it sit for 10 minutes.
- Rinse off produce with clean tap water.
- Dry off fruit or vegetables with a dry, clean dish cloth or paper towel.
Can we wash vegetables with soap?
No! Do not use antibacterial soaps or dish detergents to wash fruits and vegetables because soap or detergent residues can remain on the produce. Pre-cut and pre-washed produce sold in open bags or containers should always be washed under running water before using.
How to store clean produce
Now that you’ve successfully cleaned your produce, make sure to store or refrigerate pre-cut items at 40°F or below if you’re not going to eat them right away, like if you are prepping ahead of time for dinner or a party.
Lastly, make sure your clean produce is not at risk for re-contamination and wash again if you suspect it has been re-exposed to harmful pathogens before eating.