Also known as: Fruits and vegetables - pesticide risks
- Wash your hands with soap and water before you start preparing food.
- Discard the outer leaves of leafy vegetables such as lettuce. Rinse and eat the inner part.
- Rinse produce with cool water for at least 30 seconds.
- You can buy a produce wash product. Do not wash foods with dish soaps or detergents. These products can leave behind inedible residues.
- Do not wash produce marked "ready to eat" or "pre-washed".
- Wash produce even if you do not eat the peels (such as citrus). Otherwise, chemicals or bacteria from the outside of the produce can get to the inside when you cut/peel it.
- After washing, pat produce dry with a clean towel.
- Wash produce when you are ready to use it. Washing before storing can degrade the quality of most fruits and vegetables.
- As an option, you may want to buy and serve organic produce. Organic growers use approved organic pesticides. You may want to consider it for thin-skinned items such as peaches, grapes, strawberries, and nectarines.
To help protect yourself and your family from pesticides on fruits and vegetables:
To remove harmful bacteria, you must wash both organic and nonorganic fruits and vegetables.
US Food and Drug Administration. Food facts: raw produce. Updated November 2015. www.fda.gov/downloads/Food/FoodborneIllnessContaminants/UCM174142.pdf. Accessed March 8, 2016.
- Review date:
- December 7, 2016
- Reviewed by:
- Emily Wax, RD, The Brooklyn Hospital Center, Brooklyn, NY. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Isla Ogilvie, PhD, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.
The information provided herein should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. A licensed medical professional should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions. Call 911 for all medical emergencies. Links to other sites are provided for information only -- they do not constitute endorsements of those other sites. © 1997- 2008 A.D.A.M., Inc. Any duplication or distribution of the information contained herein is strictly prohibited.