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Is washing fruit beneficial?


Is washing fruit beneficial?


Bacteria, fungus, and other organisms, as well as trace levels of chemicals, can be found on fresh produce. Fortunately, there are actions you can take to aid in the improvement of your fruit and vegetable safety.


Fruits and vegetables should be washed to eliminate dirt, pathogens, and stubborn garden pests, and any other residual insecticides.


Rub fruits and vegetables thoroughly with your hands under running water to remove dirt and surface bacteria. Because the drain area of the sink often retains bacteria, a clean bowl is a better choice than the sink when immersing in water.


Some specific examples:

- Leafy green vegetables: separate and rinse each leaf individually or immerse in a bowl of cold water for a few minutes.

- Apples, cucumbers (firm produce): wash well or peel any waxy outer-layer

- Berries: Wash under cold water and store unwashed

- Root vegetables: peel or clean the outside really well under water


**Before peeling or cutting produce, clean the counters, cutting boards, and tools with water & soap. Bacteria can be transferred from the outside of raw produce to the inside when it is chopped or peeled.



References:

Guide to Washing Fresh Produce (usda.gov)

Fruit and Vegetable Safety | CDC



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