How to Clean Fruits and Vegetables to Avoid Contamination with Coronavirus?
In this time of a coronavirus pandemic, governments and health departments are insisting on security measures that aim to prevent the spread of the virus. Doubts can then arise when shopping, storing, and cooking food. We are trying here to dispel doubts on the subject.
The way we clean fruits and vegetables is an important point because it is about eliminating contaminants that may be present in these foods. This is why we invite you here to find out what are the right actions to take when washing fruits and vegetables in order to minimize the risk of any Coronavirus infection.
In this time of the pandemic, the concern to wash fruits and vegetables well occupies the minds more. However, the steps that we will present to you here are that we should always follow, especially if we do not require peeling these foods.
Thoroughly cleaning fruits and vegetables not only removes soil and dirt but also removes possible residues of pesticides, bacteria, and other pathogens that can cause poisoning or health problems.
Can Food Transmit Coronavirus?
Since the start of the coronavirus pandemic, the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) has been monitoring the situation thoroughly. According to this organization, “at present, there is no scientific evidence indicating that food can constitute a vector for the contamination of the virus”.
These are the words of EFSA’s chief scientist Marta Hugas. This organization came to this conclusion after the experience acquired following previous coronavirus epidemics (SARS-CoV, MERS-CoV).
The virus responsible for COVID-19 spreads between people via the droplets of respiratory secretions that we expel when we sneeze, cough, or talk.
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Washing Fruits and Vegetables Well Before Cooking Is Important
How to Properly Clean Fruits and Vegetables?
Although it is unlikely that food will transmit the coronavirus, applying general hygiene standards allows us to minimize any risk.
Before washing fruits and vegetables, it is important to wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
In addition, there is no need to use soap or detergent to clean the food, especially if you rinse it badly, there will be residues of these products on your food. So how do you get it right? We give you some recommendations below.
Some Recommendations for Cleaning Different Types of Vegetables during Coronavirus
For leafy vegetables like salad or the chard, separate the leaves and clean them one by one. This will eliminate the remains of soil and pesticides that may be on the less visible parts
For vegetables with a harder consistency, such as cucumbers, squash or peppers, you can use a brush specifically designed to clean vegetables. Clean these foods under a stream of water while rubbing their surface well
When it comes to cauliflower and broccoli, it’s best to start by cutting these vegetables into many small parts. Then put all these small bouquets in a colander which you will pass under a jet of water. You will be sure to wash the innermost parts of these vegetables well during coronavirus and even later also.
As for root vegetables such as potatoes, beets, carrots, or turnips, they should also be washed before peeling. You can first soak them to soften any remaining dirt. Then rub them vigorously with a sponge or brush (without detergent) under a stream of water.
Some Recommendations for Cleaning Different Types of Fruit
Berries, strawberries, and berries are very delicate fruits. Put them in a colander which you will then pass under a jet of cold water for a little while. Rub lightly with your hands, and then wring out.
Fruits with edible peels should always be washed before consumption, even if you plan to peel them. Spend a good time under a stream of water and rub gently. Do this for peaches, apples, plums, nectarines…
Regarding fruits whose skin is inedible (lemons, kiwis, papaya …), wash them anyway before peeling them. Otherwise, you could contaminate the fruit via the knife.
To better preserve fruits and vegetables, once clean, it is advisable to dry them with a little absorbent paper.
How to Clean Fruits and Vegetables in These Times of Coronavirus?
Should we Use Disinfectants for Food?
As we have seen, food is not believed to be a route for coronavirus contamination. This is why health and food safety authorities do not recommend using disinfectants when cleaning food.
If you want to use it, make sure you choose a product that is approved and suitable for food. Also, follow the manufacturer’s instructions.
However, health and food safety authorities recommend that basic hygiene and food safety standards be followed carefully.
In Addition To Washing Food, The Following Measures Should Be Applied:
- Wash hands before and after handling food
- Wash utensils and work surfaces
- Keep fruits and vegetables away from raw meat and fish; avoid using the same utensils for these different products
- Cook the vegetables well before eating them
- Store fruits and vegetables in containers and at an appropriate temperature
- Choose fresh food
Take a look at general preventive measures to prevent the spread of coronavirus.
In short, cleaning fruits and vegetables is a basic safety measure.
It is a measure that should be applied at all times before eating and cooking these foods. Not only do we remove residual dirt, pesticides, and other pathogens that may be present on the surface of these foods, but we also avoid a possible risk associated with coronavirus, even if the foods do not appear to be a route of contamination.