Wash All Your Fruit, Even the Kind You Peel

Photo:  Marina Bakush, Shutterstock
Photo: Marina Bakush, Shutterstock

You should be washing all your fruits and vegetables, even the ones you plan to peel before eating. Besides dirt from the field, there can also be bacteria and pesticide or other chemical residues. So as you’re packing your picnic basket, give your produce a rinse.

This doesn’t mean you need to be afraid of your food, by the way. Small amounts of pesticide residue are not dangerous, and buying organic doesn’t sidestep the issue — organic food uses pesticides too.

But the safety protocols used on farms and at grocery stores assume that you know you should be washing your food before you eat it. Even if you plan to peel something, the knife can push bacteria or chemicals into the food, or you can get them on your hands.

Fortunately, the solution is simple: just rinse your produce. No need for soap or bleach or anything like that (in fact, food safety experts recommend not using anything extra), but you can go the extra mile by scrubbing things like cantaloupes with a soft brush.

So if you’re packing for a picnic, wash produce before you go, and place it in a clean bag or container. And if you’ll be in a place where you can’t wash your hands before you eat, pack baby wipes and maybe hand sanitiser, too.

Log in to comment on this story!