How to Wash Produce Properly


Washing VeggiesWhat’s the best way to handle fresh produce to minimize the chance of foodborne illness? 

Routine recalls of mangoes, sprouts, bagged lettuces and other produce have some shoppers worried. Even certified organic produce can sometimes harbor disease-causing bacteria such as salmonella, listeria and E. coli.

Washing fruits and vegetables thoroughly with cool, briskly running water is the best way to reduce your risk of foodborne illness. And that even goes for “pre-washed” bagged salad greens, which (despite their label) still could contain a range of bacteria, according to tests conducted by Consumer Reports.

Here’s a list of produce safety recommendations from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration:

• Clean vegetables and fruits just before preparing them for use, not before storing them. (Moisture encourages bacterial growth and hastens spoiling.)

• To clean produce, use plain, cool, running water and rub gently with your hands or a brush. Special rinses aren’t necessary; they have not been shown to be any more effective than plain water.

Lynn McGovern
1/26/2013 12:11:50 PM

Exactly what I was going to say! This make absolutely no sense.

Lisa Horstkamp
1/12/2013 12:41:58 AM

I agree

1/5/2013 6:15:53 AM

I disagree. Just like people who rinse their hands with cool water after using the bathroom, the spread of infection can take over like a wildfire. Fill your sanitized sink with tepid water, add 1 cup of vinegar, soak your produce for 5 minutes, rinse well then pat dry. Vinegar is a natural antibacterial agent. Thanks for posting.

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