It may not occur to you to wash your produce, but think about it: It comes from the field and may be commercially washed BEFORE it is handled by packers, is transported in dirty trucks, then handled by market workers and shoppers testing for ripeness. Maybe even sneezed on. UGH!
A Tennessee State University study found that the home vegetable bin is the dirtiest part of the refrigerator! There may be up to 2 million bacteria per gram, yeast, mold and other germs on a head of lettuce! What to do?
Wash with tap water to cut bacteria up to 98%.
Fruits and vegetables with edible skin should be washed under running water for 30-60 seconds according to Brendan Niemira, P.hD., a scientist with the USDA Agricultural Research Service. Use fingers or a soft vegetable brush and the water will carry away any bacteria.
If there is an inedible peel, use a sturdier brush and wash for the same length of time. Even though you won’t be eating the skin, piercing it to cut it up will introduce whatever is on the outside, onto the edible portion.