Produce Wash: What’s the Point?

17 Nov

Produce Wash: What’s the Point?

You know you’re supposed to eat your fruits and vegetables – but do you need a special produce wash to clean them too?

Produce washes – which bill themselves as boosting safety – are pretty much hogwash.

Turns out, when it comes to cleaning your produce, running water and friction will cut it.

A number of food safety authorities say don’t waste your time with produce washes:

  • Foodsafety.gov says, “Soap or detergent or using commercial produce washes is not recommended”
  • The FDA does not recommend the use of soap, detergent, or produce washes
  • USDA recommends washing your produce under cold running tap water to remove any lingering dirt

So just how long should you wash your fruit and veg for? Food microbiologist Dr. Michael Doyle from the University of Georgia and its Director of its Center for Food Safety says that 20 seconds is sufficient, stating, “Any longer won’t make much of a difference.”

And what about bagged salads? These products say they’re double or triple washed – and turns out, they probably are. FoodSafety.gov says, “If the package indicates that the contents have been pre-washed or are ready to eat, you can use the product without further washing.”

Of course, there’s nothing wrong with buying a good old-fashioned head of lettuce and washing it thoroughly too!

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