Tuesday, May 18, 2010
Washing Fresh Fruit & Vegetables
USA Today, chlorinated water kills many of the bacteria and viruses that may be on fruit and vegetables. They recommend soaking them in a gallon of cold water with 1/2 teaspoon of bleach for about 10 minutes. Then rinse thoroughly. Personally, I use water with just a drop of dish soap and rinse thoroughly. I wash fruit like apples or pears under running water with a drop of soap that I rub all over it with my hands. Other things like broccoli, cauliflower, strawberries and grapes, I put in a bowl of water, add a drop or two of soap and swish it around with my hand. Then I put them in a strainer and rinse well. I, personally, have not had any problems so far using this method. That, of course, is not a guarantee. Don't forget about bananas, watermelon, cantaloupe or other items that are peeled or cut. You still have to handle them or cut through the outside and you don't want to spread germs or pesticides on the outside to the fruit on the inside. You can also wash fruit and vegetables with a produce wash. They can be purchased or made at home. It's best to avoid pre-packaged or pre-cut fruit and vegetables. There have been several recalls of these types of products in recent years. They seem to be at a higher risk of contamination and because they are supposedly "pre-washed" they are usually consumed without being washed at home. Again, I strongly recommend to grow whatever you can on your own and buy local as much as possible.