Do I have to wash fruits and vegetables with soap?

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Everyone knows that hands need to be washed with soap. And it is advisable to do this more often. Especially before meals. But if we wash our hands with soap, it means they will not get clean by simply rinsing with water. But what about fruits and vegetables in this case? Do cucumbers, tomatoes, dill, potatoes and even strawberries really need to be washed with soap? And in that case, you may need to wash all the goods purchased in the store before you can put them in the refrigerator? Specialists do not agree. And yet we try to find out.

Dirty foods can cause serious illnesses.


1 Why wash fruits and vegetables?

2 Washing fruits and vegetables 2.1 Tips for washing fruits and vegetables

3 Are washed fruits and vegetables safe?

4 The dirtiest vegetables and fruits 4.1 The dirtiest food of the year 2019

5 How to wash products? Council of the Ministry of Health
6 How do I wash meat, fish and eggs?

Why wash fruits and vegetables?

If you have been in the village, then you know that there is no special ceremony to wash the fruit and vegetables collected in the garden. As a child, I often spent the summer with my grandparents in the village. They have grown nothing in their garden – cabbage, cucumbers, tomatoes, apples, carrots – you can list them for a very long time. And somehow it was a matter of course picking the carrots from the garden, shaking them a little bit from the dirt and eating. I'm silent about berries and fruits – you understand yourself. But if so, why wash fruits and vegetables?

This is interesting: with a new packaging you can identify damaged products in one second.

There are actually several reasons why it is important to rinse all fruits and vegetables with water. First, no one likes to eat filth, at least he grinds unpleasantly with his teeth. More importantly, not everyone today has their own garden, where you can safely grow a variety of vegetables and fruits and make sure they are not sprayed with pesticides. And many pesticides are known to be harmful to your health.

However, experts see protection against disease as the most important reason for washing vegetables and fruits. Food and drug control agencies are reporting different numbers in different countries, but at least 48 million people suffer from contaminated food every year. The purpose of washing vegetables and fruits is to reduce the number of bacteria and not to fall prey to, for example, E. coli or Salmonella.

It looks like salmonella under the microscope

Keep in mind that there are usually large outbreaks in the public and there are more isolated cases of infection when eating unwashed fruits and vegetables in food. And in every dimension. But that's not all. Experts note that vegetables and fruits are washed just before eating or cooking. The fact is that the storage of washed products creates an ideal humid environment for the growth of bacteria. Too much moisture can break fruit and vegetables faster.

How do I wash fruits and vegetables?

So the main question is: is it enough to rinse fruit and vegetables with water, or does it have to be done with soap? Here the opinions of the experts differ. The fact is that soap or other products can remain on food and their effect on the human body has not been studied as well.

Therefore, it is best to wash vegetables and fruits with water with a special brush and a small amount of baking soda. However, wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water before you start washing the products. This at least guarantees that no microbes from your hands get into fresh products. When washing, use running water and rub the fruit and vegetables vigorously with your hands to remove dirt and surface microorganisms. For products with hard shells, you can thoroughly clean the surface with a vegetable brush.

In the photo, finger tomatoes take a shower

Tips for washing fruits and vegetables

Do not wash fruits and vegetables with hot water. As a result, certain microorganisms can enter the food. Do not wash berries long before you eat them. The porous nature of berries increases the likelihood of moisture and mold growth. If you rinse fruit under a kitchen faucet, you can remove dirt. However, many studies show that adding baking soda to water is the best way to remove pesticide residues. To kill bacteria, use a vegetable brush to wash thick-skinned products, and discard the outer leaves of green leafy vegetables such as cabbage and lettuce before washing. Experts advise you to wash your own vegetables – you can fill a clean sink with cold water and add 4 tablespoons of baking soda. In the sink, fruits and vegetables should be soaked in cold water and allowed to stand for five minutes and then properly dried. The exception is berries or other soft fruits and vegetables that can get too wet. They also have to be washed, but that has to be done quickly.

Are washed fruits and vegetables safe?

But what about food and vegetables that are packaged to be washed? Unfortunately, no one can say with certainty whether this is indeed the case or not, since it is not a regulated procedure. Experts advise to protect themselves and to wash these products again. It certainly will not get any worse.

The dirtiest vegetables and fruits

Most important, however, is the "dirty dozen". A "Dirty Dozen" is a list of fruits and vegetables compiled by the Environmental Working Group. The list classifies fruits and vegetables according to the likelihood of pesticide residues.

The dirtiest food of the year 2019

Strawberries spinach cabbage; nectarines; Apples grapes; peaches; Cherry pears tomatoes celery; Potatoes.

More than 90% of the samples of strawberries, apples, cherries, spinach, nectarines and cabbage gave a positive result for the presence of residues of two or more pesticides. Some cabbage samples contained about 18 different pesticides.

Grapes need to be washed very thoroughly

In other words, you should pay particular attention to washing all products from the list.

Which products are good for your health can be found on our channel in Yandex.Zen.

How are the products washed? Council of the Ministry of Health

It seems that for such a simple procedure as washing vegetables and fruits, the information in this article is insufficient. Keep in mind, however, that the government's recommendations on washing food are quite simple before you forcefully pour baking soda with fruit and vegetables into the sink:

Wash your hands with soap and water, wash the food before cleaning, and gently wipe it off while keeping it under running water. Use a vegetable brush to wash thick-skinned products.

How do I wash meat, fish and eggs?

So somehow sorted out with the washing of fruits and vegetables. But how to wash meat, eggs, mushrooms and fish? Rescue was provided by experts of Roskachestvo, who made a list of products that do not need to be washed before cooking. Above all, poultry belongs to these products. The fact is that when washing dangerous bacteria do not die, but spread joyfully in the kitchen and thus endanger the health of all residents of your home. Only a long-term heat treatment can destroy harmful bacteria, including Salmonella, preferably not below 74 degrees Celsius.

And how do you wash fruits, vegetables and other products? Share your stories in the comments and in our telegram chat.

Also included in the list are eggs and mushrooms per pack. According to experts, the eggshell has a porous structure and a waterproof cuticle that protects the shell from bacteria. Nevertheless, many wash their eggs or wipe them off with antibacterial wipes – in the end, the presence of salmonella in chicken droppings has not been reversed. So everyone has to decide for themselves. For mushrooms, however, the story looks a bit different. Mushrooms in the pack are already free of dirt, and water can remove their rich aroma and even affect the taste.

Fish, beans, rice and of course vegetables and fruits should always be washed. It should be noted that representatives of Roskachestvo do not hide the fact that food washing is a very difficult topic as there are a number of products, for example seeds or dried fruits, for which no-one has yet decided to wash.

By the way, washing bottles and other foods that are stored in the fridge next to fresh products is not inappropriate. Imagine you have a bottle of mineral water in your fridge, just where you were before it fell into your hands. And that's not to mention who touched her except you.