So we’ve all been told that you have to wash your fruit and vegetables before you eat them, right?
Because it make them safe to eat, right?
So is this real or just another of those food safety myths?
The largest food poisoning in whole history was not caused by meats, poultry or seafood (the usual expected culprits) – it was sprouts.
Rockmelons were involved in the food poisoning outbreak in the USA, which resulted in the toughest gaol sentence ever handed down for a food incident.
Washing fruit and vegetables is well known to remove dirt, dust, some chemicals and most bacteria and therefore is a requirement in commercial food businesses to give product safety.
But what determines if the washing is in fact successful?
The quality of the water is vital, if it is contaminated in anyway, what is the point in washing the produce?
Sanitisers (eg; chlorine) added to the water improves the food safety significantly.
The method used to do the washing is also important. The amount of time to do the washing plays a part as well.
The one factor which has the greatest influence on the success of washing is the produce itself.
Cracks in the skin (eg rockmelons), crinkly surfaces (eg; lettuce) and other skin or produce characteristics will hide dirt, bacteria and chemicals and washing may not remove or even reduce them.
So should we wash our fruits and vegetables at home?
The answer is easy – yes, because if you don’t there is no reduction / removal of the things on the produce that can cause sickness.