Foods You Should Be Washing and Those You Shouldn’t from Foods You Should Be Washing and Those You Shouldn’t

Foods You Should Be Washing and Those You Shouldn’t

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Foods You Should Be Washing and Those You Shouldn’t

The CDC estimates that each year roughly one in six Americans (or 48 million people) get sick, 128,000 are hospitalized, and 3,000 die of foodborne diseases. Food poisoning is caused from eating food and drinking water that is contaminated through improper cooking. Cross-contamination, where microorganisms are spread between foods during processing, if the same surfaces and equipment are used, is a real concern. Not storing food properly or keeping it unrefrigerated can be an ideal condition for germs to spread and wreak havoc on your body.

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Apples

Although they are sweet, crunchy and filled with antioxidants, the USDA Pesticide Data Program found that there are 47 pesticide residues in apples. This is mostly due to the threats of insects and fungus. Not to mention that human pathogens such as Salmonella, E. coli, Listeria or hepatitis A could live on the unwashed surface on an apple, according to familyshare.com.

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Canned food

Have you ever thought about how many people have touched the top of your can? It went from the factory to the store, was touched by employees, and then finally made its way to the shelf. Make sure you wash the can and wipe off the top of it before you open it to avoid any bacteria slipping inside.

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Avocados

Believe it or not, it is imperative to wash avocados before eating them. You can literally get food poisoning if you don’t. According to Business Insider, “the surface of the skin can harbor harmful pesticides and bacteria.” Then, when you go to cut it in half, your knife can bring these toxins inside the fruit.

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Strawberries

Large amounts of dangerous pesticides are applied to strawberries so that they can be delivered on time, year-round, and at an inexpensive price. Approximately 54 pesticides on average are carried on strawberries. Whether you plan to eat them right away or save them for later, you should wash them immediately.

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Rice

You should always wash rice, especially imported rice. It has plenty of clinging starch left over from the processing, research says. “Your cooked imported rice may be downright gluey if you don't wash it.”

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Packaged salads

Packaged produce items like mixed salad greens are pre-washed and ready-to-eat, according to Foodsafety.gov. Most already bagged salads, even veggies sold separately in bags such as carrots of celery, are also pre-washed. Look for a “ready to eat” label. Don’t wash them because you increase the chance of bacteria being transferred from kitchen surfaces to the salad.

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Raw meat and fish

Washing raw poultry, beef, fish, pork, lamb, or veal before cooking is both useless and not recommended. The bacteria can be spread to other foods, utensils, and kitchen surfaces, according to USDA. Also, some bacteria cannot be simply washed away. Only high temperature can kill them. Use a food thermometer to make sure the food has reached a high enough temperature to destroy foodborne germs.

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Eggs

You should not wash eggs before putting them in the fridge. Washing is a routine part of commercial egg processing so they are already washed, USDA says. “Bloom,” which is the natural cover on just-laid eggs, helps prevent bacteria from infiltrating the shell. It is removed by the washing process and is replaced by a light coating of edible mineral oil which restores protection. Extra treatment of the eggs, such as washing, could increase the risk of cross-contamination.

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Pasta

Rinsing the pasta accomplished just one thing – it removes the starch that helps hold and absorb the sauce. That starch is what actually makes the sauce stick to the pasta. So don’t do it unless you like tasteless spaghetti. Drain the pasta in a colander and shake it to get rid of all the excess water. You can wash the pasta only if you’re making a cold salad and you’re not serving it right away, according to One Green Planet.

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Ham and bacon

Sometimes people wash or soak country ham and bacon because they think it reduces the sodium or salt content enough to allow them to eat these foods if they are on a sodium-restricted diet. However, very little salt is removed by washing, rinsing, or soaking a meat product, according to USDA, and is not recommended due to possible cross-contamination.

Foods You Should Be Washing and Those You Shouldn’t