Although most of the people know
that they need to handle animal products
appropriately to stop illness, fruits and
vegetables also can carry harmful germs.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) estimate that around 48 million people per annum get sick from eating contaminated food.
In recent years, outbreaks of foodborne illnesses have occurred thanks to bacteria on cantaloupe, lettuce, tomatoes, and spinach. people that eat contaminated produce can get sick and even require hospitalization.
In this article, we glance at why it’s important to scrub fruits and vegetables, including pesticides and possible contamination.
Do you got to wash produce?
Washing fruits and vegetables can reduce the danger of illness from food contamination.
People should thoroughly wash fruits and vegetables before cooking or eating them. Produce that the manufacturer has prewashed doesn’t require further rinsing, however.
There are two main risks of eating unwashed fruits and vegetables: bacterial contamination and pesticides.
In recent years, many outbreaks of foodborne illness have come from contaminated cantaloupe, spinach, tomatoes, and lettuce.
This outbreak affected 62 people across 16 states, but there have been no deaths.
Although pesticides can help farmers grow more food, they even have many health risks. It are often challenging to avoid pesticides, however, as many nontargeted crops have exposure to those chemicals.
According to the Environmental working party , a non profit organization, almost 70% of fruits and vegetables within the us have pesticide residue, even after washing.
Produce can become infected with harmful bacteria at different stages. During the growing phase, contamination can occur through:
harmful substances in soil or water
Fruits and vegetables also can become contaminated after harvesting. Even in our homes, produce can become contaminated as a result of improper storage and through food preparation.
Sometimes, fresh produce contains harmful germs like Salmonella, E. coli, or Listeria.
These bacteria can make people very sick. Some people are more susceptible to getting a foodborne illness than others.
People who could also be more in danger of gastrointestinal disorder from produce include:
Children younger than 5 years old
Adults aged 65 and over
People with weakened immune systems
Symptoms of foodborne illness can include:
Diarrhea, which can be bloody
Severe Listeria infections can also cause:
Loss of balance
How to wash
Fruits and vegetables are an important a part of the human diet. they’re nutrient dense, low in calories, and high in fiber. it’s vital to stay eating produce, but people must take the required steps to make sure that it’s safe.
Before eating any produce, the FDA recommend:
Washing the hands both before and after food preparation.
Cutting away any damaged areas before preparing or eating.
Rinsing produce that features a skin before peeling it to stop dirt and bacteria from transferring into the edible parts.
Rubbing produce under running water using a clean vegetable brush to wash hard produce, like melons and cucumbers.
Drying fruits and vegetables with a clean cloth or towel removing the outermost leaves of lettuce and cabbage.
People should store fresh, perishable produce within the refrigerator at or below 40°F (4°C).
It is not necessary to scrub produce labelled as prewashed. It’s also unnecessary to scrub produce with soap or other cleaning products.
Other recommendations include:
using separate cutting boards for fruits and vegetables, raw meats, poultry, and seafood
using separate utensils for cooked and raw foods
storing produce faraway from meat , poultry, or seafood
Every year, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) publish a report of their findings of pesticide residues in foods. Most produce still contains pesticide residue even after washing.
The investigators state that over 99% of the products they sampled had residues below the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) limits.
In the 2017 annual summary of the Pesticide Data Program, the USDA reported which produce contained pesticide levels that exceeded EPA tolerances.
These fruits and vegetables include:
People who want to avoid pesticides can purchase certified organic products. The USDA organic regulations are strict rules that farmers must follow.