A Simple Guide to Proper Fruit And Vegetable Washing

A Simple Guide to Proper Fruit And Vegetable Washing

Fresh fruits and vegetables are an important part of a healthy diet. However, there are worries about the safety of fresh produce, particularly in light of recent foodborne illness outbreaks associated with fresh produce. Here are some tips to get you started.

  1. The best way to wash your produce is to rinse it thoroughly under running water. Rub the surface of the fruit or vegetable while rinsing it. (You should not use soap, detergent, bleach, or other cleaning products unless they specifically say they’re meant for this.)
  2. If you’re washing lots of produce — like when you’re getting ready for guests — fill your sink with cold water and add in a splash of vinegar. Vinegar has disinfectant properties but will not affect the flavor of the food. Soak your produce in the vinegar-water solution for about five minutes before rinsing everything off.
  3. Wash all produce that will have its skin or rind eaten – even if you plan to peel it.
  4. Scrub firm fruits and vegetables, such as melons and cucumbers, under running water using a clean vegetable brush.
  5. Wash all leafy greens, such as lettuce and spinach, under running cold water for several minutes until dirt and particles are removed. Some leafy greens may need to be soaked in cold water for a couple of minutes to loosen any dirt particles before washing. If the greens are pre-washed and labeled ready-to-eat or pre-washed, there is no need to wash them again at home.
  6. Dry with clean paper towels or a clean cloth towel.
  7. Before you prepare or eat any produce, wash your hands for 20 seconds with soap and water. Hand washing is one of the most important steps to prevent food poisoning from contaminated produce. Why? Hands can transfer bacteria from other foods to produce, as well as directly to the produce if your hands are contaminated.



Anna is an avid blogger with an educational background in medicine and mental health. She is a generalist with many other interests including nutrition, women's health, astronomy and photography. In her free time from work and writing, Anna enjoys nature walks, reading, and listening to jazz and classical music.

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