Wash your fruits and vegetables

Wash your fruits and vegetables
Wash your fruits and vegetables

With an abundance of fresh food in Canada all year round, it's getting easier and easier to eat he althy and tasty. We give you tips on how to wash them well!


The Canada's Food Guide to He althy Eating recommends five to ten servings of fruits and vegetables per day.

What's hiding on the peel and bark?

As conscientious consumers, you have surely wondered if there could be pesticide residues on the peel and rind of fresh fruits and vegetables and if they pose a he alth risk.

Good News

Thanks to changes in farming practices to minimize the use of pesticides and herbicides and stricter regulations from the Canadian Food Inspection Agency, you and your family don't have to worry about the safety of the food you eat, including fresh fruits and vegetables.

Food Safety Monitoring System

The 2001 Canadian Food Inspection Agency report confirms that 98% of approximately 12,000 samples of domestic and imported fresh foods examined meet standardsCanadian. In fact, Canada's food safety oversight system is so effective that many countries are using it as a model.

A little running water, and you're done

According to Susie Langley, nutrition counselor and professor at the University of Toronto, "it's all about allaying people's worries by educating them about simple things they can do at home to ensure the cleanliness of fruits and vegetables. It is not necessary to use special detergent, tap water is sufficient”.

The secret is in the manipulation

We are more at risk of contracting foodborne illness from consuming fresh food contaminated by improper handling than by insecticide residue. For example, salmonella, a bacterium found mostly in raw poultry such as chicken, can be transposed to fresh foods simply by touching green beans after handling a package of raw chicken thighs. Remember that most cases of contamination from fresh foods are due to hygiene rather than the presence of residue.


How to wash your fruits and vegetables

  • Wash all fruits and vegetables with water before eating or cooking them, even if they are covered with a bark or a peel, to prevent the bacteria that could be present on the rind of melon, for example, contaminates the edible part bycutting.

  • Wash fruits and vegetables with firm skins, such as potatoes,carrots, oranges, grapefruit and melons, with a brush under the running water for about 20 seconds. Run the brush through the dishwasher frequently to ensure cleanliness.

  • Soak fruits with soft skins, such as strawberries and raspberries, for about one minute and then rinse under running water for about 20 seconds.

  • Do not use detergent on fruits and vegetables that have an edible peel. You may leave a soapy residue. You can use a little dishwashing detergent on the thick skin of a fruit you'll be peeling, but be sure to rinse it well under running water.

  • To avoid eating the wax that coats apples and cucumbers, wash them with hot water. This wax is edible, but if you want to remove it or are worried it will attract bacteria, you can wash the fruit in hot water.

  • Wash the tail of the apple well, dirt tends to accumulate there.

  • Always wash pre-washed fresh foods. Pre-washed vegetables and lettuce mixes are very convenient, but you still need to wash them under running water to remove any contamination from handling.

  • To wash leafy vegetables, including various kinds of lettuce, you must discard the outer leaves and rinse the others in warm water.

  • Buy a small mushroom brush that is soft enough to clean mushrooms thoroughly. Why? Mushrooms grow in compost, the favorite place of the coli bacterium. After washing the mushrooms, lay them out on a paper towel and pat them dry.

  • Remove any damaged or bruised sections of a fruit or vegetable, as bacteria thrive there.

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    Eight Food Safety Tips

    The Canadian Partnership for Food Safety offers the following eight tips for ensuring food safety.

    • Always wash your hands for at least 20 seconds before handling food, after touching meat, poultry, eggs, seafood and pets, and after stopping at bathroom or a baby diaper change.
    • Disinfect counters, cutting boards and utensils with a diluted solution of bleach and water (5 ml or 1 tsp of bleach in 750 ml or 3 cups of water) before and after handling food.
    • Use separate cutting boards for raw meats and vegetables.
    • Discard used cutting boards that can store bacteria.
    • Use paper towels to clean surfaces and change cloths daily to avoid spreading bacteria.
    • Avoid using sponges; it is difficult to eliminate the bacteria that are thereabound.
    • Keep meats and gravies away from other foods during storage and preparation.
    • Take care to cover all food well.

    This article is from the He alth Canada website.

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