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Tag: wash produce

Avoid Many Food-Based Pathogens and Wash Produce Before Cutting

It’s worth the reminder: always wash every fruit or vegetable before slicing into it. This goes for produce with inedible peels, too, including avocados, grapefruit, melons, and squash.

Why does it matter if you wash a fruit or vegetable if you’re not going to eat the rind or peel or skin anyway?

Because, foodborne pathogens like listeria don’t live inside the undamaged piece of produce; they travel from the skin to the fruit on the knife blade as it pierces the outside. Now the flesh of the fruit or vegetable is contaminated, and the eater could get sick.

If that produce is conventionally grown, that knife blade could carry toxic pesticide residue onto your food as well.

Even organically grown produce picks up dirt and grime on its way from the field to your kitchen and should be cleaned before slicing.

I always use a veggie wash to help break down and remove dirt, pesticides, and pathogens from all fruits and veggies before cutting, cooking, or serving. It’s a good habit to get into.

Picking Good Avocados

My mother-in-law has complained that the avocados she buys are bruised and spotted when she cuts them open that evening. My trick is to buy avocados before they are ripe, when they are firm and more resistant to bruising, and then to let them ripen over the following few days at home where they won’t be jostled and damaged. Avocados are ready to eat when they give slightly to a gentle squeeze.avacado

Avocados are on the Environmental Working Group’s list of the Clean Fifteen, those non-organic fruits and vegetables that are the least contaminated by pesticides, so you don’t have to feel guilty about taking advantage of those 10 for $10 specials when they come around.

Organic or not, always wash avocados and other fruit before slicing through the skin to remove grime, pesticides, bacteria, and parasites.