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5 Tips To Wash Your Produce Properly

Jun 11, 2023

5 Tips To Wash Your Produce Properly

Properly washing fresh fruits and vegetables is important to minimize the ingestion of potentially harmful residues and germs. Throughout their journey from the farm to your kitchen, produce is handled by a lot of people (we mean, a lot), and not every hand was clean. They could also be exposed to coughing, sneezing, and other contaminants.

Despite what you see on the internet—washing produce with vinegar, baking soda, lemon, etc.—water is pretty much all you need. In fact, washing them with those substances is not proven to be effective and may leave even more residues. So, skip it.

Here’s how to wash your produce properly, so you don’t have to worry about foodborne illnesses the next time you serve a bowl of fresh-cut apples.

Wash your hands with soap and water This may seem like the obvious first step for any food preparation but people often skip the ‘soap’ part. Be sure that the sink and containers you’ll be using are squeaky clean too.

Firm produce Produce with firmer skins like apples, lemons, carrots, and turnips should be washed and brushed with a clean, soft-bristled brush. This will remove any residues stuck between pores or cavities. 

Leafy greens To handle your leafy produce like spinach, lettuce, and sprouts—simply remove their outermost layer, submerge them in cool water, then give them a quick rinse under fresh water.

Soft or delicate produce Mushrooms or berries are very prone to smushing when handled, so they can be a little tricky. Run them under a steady stream of fresh water and use gently rub any dirt away using your fingers. 

Drying washed produce Dry your produce using paper towels or a clean cloth towel. For your delicate produce, use gentle patting motions or lay them out on a clean paper towel to dry completely. 

In a pandemic or not, practicing good food hygiene is crucial, especially when you’re consuming fruits and vegetables (which should be supplying you with health benefits!) that are usually sprayed with pesticides and other contaminants. 

Tip: It’s always a good idea to do this for all of your produce at once and store them immediately in clean containers. This way, you’ll save more time when you feel like grabbing a berry for a quick snack!