Good hygiene when washing fresh produce
Now, more than ever, we are concerned about the health and wellbeing of our families. As a family owned farm and business, we care about your family like our own. Covid-19 is on everyone’s minds at the moment and it has raised our awareness for basic daily cleanliness. In general, one should always practise good hygiene when it comes to food and the handling thereof.
According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), there is currently no confirmed case of Covid-19 transmitted through food or food packaging.
We have consulted some trusted sources and there are no special guidelines by any organisation for how to wash fruit and vegetables in light of the pandemic. The most common suggestion is to clean your produce with good old running water and a rub. Some suggest that the only way to truly clean your fruit and vegetables is with a store-bought produce wash or homemade solution.
All sources including the Food and Drug Administration(FDA) advise against using detergents, soaps or sanitiser.
If you feel like taking some extra precautions and want to know how to wash your fruit and vegetables as well as you can, we have compiled a video and some basic information on best hygiene practice when it comes to washing your fresh produce at home:
- Buy fresh produce that are bagged and not loose as this reduces risk of uncontrolled handling.
- Remove produce from the packaging & discard packaging in the recycling.
- Sanitize all surfaces.
- Wash your hands before preparing and consuming food: “The WHO and U.S. Centres for Disease Control and Prevention both stress the importance of washing your hands before preparing and consuming food. Health authorities recommend washing with soap and water for at least 20 seconds before you handle your produce. Here’s a step-by-step guide to handwashing with high-contrast paint to show how a variety of techniques are needed for proper cleaning: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hz6fyfxD4xE
- Wash fresh produce under cold running water for 20 seconds.
- For extra peace of mind, you may use special produce cleansers or a home-made cleansing solution to clean your produce:
- Produce with skin – Soak your produce for 2-3 minutes in a solution of good old-fashioned vinegar (8 parts water 1 part vinegar) or bicarbonate of soda added to a large bowl of cold water.
- Leafy vegetables – Sprits your leafy vegetables with a solution of 1 tbsp salt, 1 cup water & 4 tbsp lemon juice – leave for 45 sec and rinse for 20 seconds.
- Washing soft fruit & veg – Sprits your soft fruit & veggies with a solution of 8 parts water and 1 part lemon juice – leave for 30 sec and rinse for 20 seconds.
- Dry produce with paper towel.
Be safe, stay healthy and enjoy!
Sources & useful links:
Grocery shopping & cleaning tips: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jFMUPpSwNJ8
The way shoppers handle produce: https://www.ctvnews.ca/health/coronavirus/coronavirus-concerns-is-it-time-to-change-the-way-shoppers-handle-produce-1.4850278
Spreading Coronavirus: “There have been no reports of transmission through food” https://www.foodnavigator.com/Article/2020/03/12/Spreading-coronavirus-There-have-been-no-reports-of-transmission-through-food
Washing produce videos: