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Washing Fruits and Vegetables to Remove Pesticides

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Even though the pesticide residue found on fruits and vegetables is generally well below the levels considered harmful, produce should be washed with cold, drinkable water. Fruits and vegetables that will be peeled also should be washed first to avoid any cross-contamination between the peel and the flesh.

More tips Edit

Here are some other washing tips:

  • When possible, wash produce just before using it. Many fruits and vegetables, such as raspberries, are delicate and will usually stay fresh longer if stored without washing.
  • Before cleaning produce, wash your hands with soap and water and make sure that your sink, countertops and cutting boards are clean.
  • Scrub firm produce well with a brush or rub it with your hands under cold running water; the abrasive action of the water helps dislodge and rinse away surface residue.
  • Soft or fragile produce can be placed in a colander or basket, immersed in water and gently swished around; it also can be rinsed with a sink sprayer.
  • Before washing leafy greens, remove and discard the outer leaves.
  • Plain water works best when washing fruits and vegetables. Avoid washing food with soap, and never wash it in any bleach or detergent mixture because it can absorb these harmful solutions. The effectiveness of commercial washing solutions has not yet been established, and they aren't recommended by the government agencies that regulate pesticide use.

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