How to clean fruits and vegetables properly?
An article on fda.gov states that federal health officials estimate that, every year, around 48 million people get sick because of eating contaminated foods full of dangerous germs and bacteria. Needless to say, making sure your fruits and veggies are clean before consuming them cannot be emphasized enough. So, keep reading to know exactly how to do it.
How to clean fruits and vegetables properly before consumption
The two common ways to keep your fruits and vegetables clean before consuming them are using water or a food-grade disinfecting liquid.
1. Cleaning Fruits and Vegetables with a Food-Grade Disinfecting Liquid
There are several disinfecting liquids, including the 35 food-grade hydrogen peroxide. This liquid consists of two liquid essentials, which are oxygen and hydrogen. The active oxygen it provides helps cleanse, purify, and decontaminate fruits and veggies naturally and fast.
What’s more, this product is suitable both for indoor and outdoor gardening. Plus, the fact that it is food-grade means it does not contain any stabilizers. In other words, it is free of such chemicals as phenol, acetanilide, and sodium stannate.
2. Cleaning Fruits and Veggies with Water
Even after using a food-grade disinfecting liquid, you always want to make sure you use water to clean your produce. Depending on the type of fruits or veggies, you can choose to rinse, soak, or scrub.
Cleaning Fruits and Veggies by Rinsing
You should always rinse all fresh vegetables and fruits. That is because they may contain bacteria, pesticides, or other germs on their surfaces. When rising, there are a few factors you should have in mind. These include:
- Choosing warm water over a cold one, though, you must note that delicate produce like fresh raspberries can fall apart when exposed to too much heat.
- Using a colander to rinse small produce that might be tricky to hold by hand. These include snap peas, cherry tomatoes, green beans, and beans, among others. While rinsing, make sure you constantly move them around with your fingertips to completely get rid of bacteria, germs, and dirt.
- Not using bleach, soap, or non-food-grade chemical cleaners. These cleaners can contain harmful substances that can compromise your health over time. That being said, if you are unsure about what chemicals are suitable for cleaning fruits and vegetables, you should stick to the CDC’s recommendation, which is water.
- Dry all the fruits thoroughly with a paper towel or towel before storing them in the fridge or putting them away in a fruit bowl. Drying fruits is important because it gets rid of moisture that can make mold grow quickly.
Soaking Fruits and Vegetables
Soaking is mostly recommended for delicate veggies and fruits. It is important to have the following tips in mind if you want to effectively soak your fresh produce.
- Soak in lukewarm or cool water for around five to 30 minutes when cleaning fruits that come in bunches. Examples of these fruits are berries and grapes. Soaking for this period enables the water to loosen up dirt, thereby, leaving behind clean fruits.
- When soaking fruits or veggies, you can consider using white vinegar since it is a natural bacterial killer. You should, however, only use it in a small amount i.e. around half a cup for one cup of water.
- After you are done soaking, make sure you rinse the produce thoroughly, especially if you used vinegar. That is because vinegar tends to leave behind a faint smell, which the majority find bothersome. If for some reason, you detest vinegar, then lemon should be a frontier for you.
- If you are soaking your fruits in the sink, make sure you wash the sink first to eliminate any dirt, bacteria, or germs. And, once you are done soaking, dry everything before keeping it away. This helps keep the produce fresher for longer.
Cleaning Your Fruits and Veggies by Scrubbing
Some veggies and fruits clean best when scrubbed. These fruits and vegetables normally have thick skins, and good examples include carrots, melons, and squash. Consider the following for effective cleaning of such produce:
- Use a stiff brush when cleaning thick-skinned produce such as carrots, squash, root vegetables, and melons. Scrub these fruits and vegetables under running water until they are clean. Ideally, consider rinsing the brush after each use. That is because if you do not do this, then the brush may trap and spread bacteria.
- Use some baking soda when cleaning produce with a wax coating. Examples of such items are cucumbers, lemons, and apples. Baking soda works as a natural scrub and is good at removing the waxy layer.
- Pour hot water over the produce or briefly dunk them in boiling water. After that, scrub them so the softened and warmed-up wax can loosen up. Pouring hot water over produce or dunking everything in boiling water also helps eliminate bacteria not to mention getting rid of pesticides.
There are lots of ways to keep fruits and veggies clean. As seen above, the common ones include using water and a food-grade disinfecting liquid. Keeping fruits and vegetables clean before eating them helps keep you safe by minimizing exposure to bacteria and germs.
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