How to Safely Wash Produce

Friday, August 3rd, 2018 by Carolina Fresh Water

Produce Washing

When people think about foodborne illnesses, they usually think of eggs, chicken, shellfish, or some other type of animal protein first. What they don’t know is that fruits and vegetables are responsible for more mass-outbreaks of foodborne illnesses than any other type of food. According to the Centers For Disease Control and Prevention, produce is responsible for 12% of all foodborne illnesses and 6% of all mass outbreaks today, figures that are up from those of the 1970’s.

With the increase in foodborne illnesses from unwashed produce, people all over the country are looking for ways to ensure their fruits and vegetables are both clean and safe. Companies have even jumped onto this trend, releasing “food wash” products that are supposed to safely and effectively clean produce in a thorough and convenient way. However, what these companies do not want you to know is that you have a much more effective produce wash in your home right now.

Through tests performed by food specialists, it has been found that clean, clear, and fresh water is the single best produce wash a person can have. As a matter of fact, clean water filtered through reverse osmosis has the potential to clean 98% of all bacteria found on produce, and when you have filtered water at home, there is no need for an extra item in the grocery cart.

When washing produce with water, opting for reverse osmosis filtered water is always preferable to water from the tap. Tap water will contain chemicals like chlorine through public water treatment processes, taking away bacteria but adding potential toxins to the produce you’re washing. With reverse osmosis filtered water, you’re not adding anything unwanted to your produce, but simply taking bacteria away.

Produce Washing Myths

There are a lot of myths surrounding safely washing produce. A few of these myths include:

Skip the wash if you’re going to remove the outer layer

If you’re planning to remove the peel or rind of the produce, some believe you can skip the washing process altogether, since you won’t be ingesting the exposed portion of the fruit or vegetable. When peeling produce, your hands transport bacteria from the outer portion of the produce to the inner portion if the produce is not washed first.

Organic produce doesn’t need to be washed

While organic produce may not be subjected to the same chemical and pesticide treatments as mass-produced produce, it is still exposed to various types of bacteria and should be thoroughly washed.

Pre-washed is washed

Bagged lettuce and fruit or vegetable mixes will often be labeled “pre-washed”, leading many to believe they’re simply ready to be eaten. However, while bacteria may not be your main concern with these types of produce, chemicals and toxins are a different story. One cannot be sure how the produce was pre-washed, and a second washing in filtered water can ensure all chemical additives are washed away.

Healthy Produce For A Healthy Life

Fruits and vegetables do the body good. To ensure you’re getting all of the benefits from produce, without any of the risks, a healthy approach to washing is necessary. Contact Carolina Freshwater today to learn how filtered water can improve your produce experience.

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