Recently I’ve seen many videos on social media, cover the topic on how we should be washing our fruits and vegetables when returning home from the grocery store.
And it’s not just produce, I’ve seen users spray down fast food bags, wiping down canned foods and even washing the outside of a banana with soap and water.
I think I might’ve seen it all, but here we have the exact steps you should follow to properly wash your fruits and vegetables.
First things first, there is no specific evidence that people can catch the virus from food, and secondly do NOT Lysol your produce, says Benjamin Chapman, Ph.D., food expert at North Carolina State University.
“Do not do that, according to its manufacturer, Lysol isn’t meant to be ingested, and doing so could make you really sick, says Chapman.Benjamin Chapman
And now that we’ve gotten that out of the way, you should always be cleaning your fruits and vegetables, even before the virus. Here is the correct way to do that.
Step One: Start with a clean surface to place your produce on, wash your hands with soapy water before and after you touch your produce and make sure your kitchen supplies are clean before you slice and dice!
The key factor is to make sure that your drying your hands with a clean towel, in some cases, your cloth towel might be dirtier than you think if you’re wiping down counters with that exact towel, according to Donald Schaffner, Ph.D., a food safety expert at Rutgers University.
Step Two: Wash your produce, but not with soap! You should only be washing your produce with water and here’s why.
According to Chapman,
Washing your produce “removes some of the protection that the plant has against mold and yeast to prevent spoilage,” he says. “Fruits and vegetables contain phytochemicals (harmless bacteria) and oil that prevent mold and yeast from growing he explains.”Benjamin Chapman
In fact, if you use soap, it can be dangerous and make you sickly.
“If you ingest soap it can cause nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea,” says Schaffner.Donald Schaffner
In fact, it’s best to use cold water when you wash your fruit or veggies, says Chapman. Water alone will remove 99% of dirt, so water, is the only “cleanser” you need to make sure your produce is safe to eat!
Step Three: Know when you should scrub! You should only be scrubbing firm foods such as Cucumbers and using a clean brush to do so, according to the FDA.
Chapman says, fruits such as Melons and Cantaloupe should also be scrubbed as well prior to rinsing them with water. In conclusion, you should be scrubbing raw produce that’s grown directly from the ground!
Now I know this a lot of information and most of this stuff we already do, but as I’ve learned throughout life, its always better to be safe than sorry!