Plenty of us are careful when handling raw meat and poultry, but will bite into an apple after a simple rub with our t-shirt. Turns out we might not be paying close enough attention to how we’re handling our fruits and vegetables. According to a new study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 51 percent of foodborne illnesses come from produce. Makes you think twice about eating that apple before washing it, huh?
To minimize the risk of food poisoning, produce should always be washed well—especially if it won’t be cooked (bagged fresh-cut produce and fruit labeled “prewashed” or “triple-washed” are fine to eat as they are). To effectively reduce potential contaminants—like salmonella—fruits and vegetables should be scrubbed under running water. Soaking your produce won’t do the trick, because the running water plays a major role in eliminating dirt and bacteria. For veggies with a firm or rough surface, use a vegetable brush and remember to wash the rind and skin even if you won’t be eating them, since cutting or peeling can spread germs to the inside.
More kitchen safety tips.