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Washing your fruits and vegetables
Transcript of Washing your fruits and vegetables
Although most people know animal products must be handled carefully to prevent illness, many don’t realize that produce can also be the culprit in outbreaks of foodborne illness. In recent years, the United States has had several large outbreaks of illness caused by contaminated fruits and vegetables—
including sprouts, spinach, tomatoes, and lettuce.
Glenda Lewis, an expert on foodborne illness with the Food and Drug Administration, says fresh produce can become contaminated in many ways. During the growing phase, fruits and veggies may be contaminated by animals, harmful substances in the soil or water, and poor hygiene among workers. After produce is harvested, it passes through many hands, increasing the contamination risk. Contamination can even occur after the produce has been purchased, during food preparation, or through inadequate storage.
FDA says to choose produce that isn’t bruised or damaged, and make sure that pre-cut items—such as bags of lettuce or watermelon slices—are refrigerated.
In addition, follow these recommendations:
Wash your hands with hot soapy water before and after preparing food.
Clean your counter top, cutting boards, and utensils after peeling produce and before cutting and chopping. Bacteria from the outside of raw produce can be transferred to the inside when it is cut or peeled. Wash kitchen surfaces and utensils with hot, soapy water after preparing each food item.
3. Do not wash produce with soaps or detergents.
4. Use clean potable cold water to wash items.
5. For produce with thick skin, use a vegetable brush to help wash away hard-to-remove microbes.
6. Produce with a lot of nooks and crannies like cauliflower, broccoli or lettuce should be soaked for 1 to 2 minutes in cold clean water.
7. Some produce such as raspberries should not be soaked in water. Put fragile produce in a colander and spray it with water.
8. Don’t forget that homegrown, farmers market, and grocery store fruits and vegetables should also be well washed.
9. Do not rewash packaged products labeled “ready-to-eat,” “washed” or “triple washed.
10. Once cut or peeled, refrigerate as soon as possible at 40ºF or below.
11. Do not purchase cut produce that is not refrigerated.
Our Vegetables and
Ecolab's New Victory Solution Makes Produce Clean To Eat
Businesses worried about foodborne illness outbreaks will appreciate Ecolab’s new Victory fruit and vegetable wash solution. Its antimicrobial activity quickly removes harmful microorganisms from the surface of fruits and vegetables without altering the taste, look or smell of the produce.
Some of the operations you work in may use Victory Wash.
Here is some information on what it is and does:
In fact, fruits and vegetables washed in this EPA-registered solution do not even require a water rinse because unlike competitive products, Victory, at the recommended use concentration, will not leave any residual effects. And achieving the proper concentration level is simple because Victory’s patented dispensing system automatically dilutes the product for maximum effectiveness and consistent results.
Thanks for the wash!