What’s the Safest Way to Clean Produce?

Before you bite into an apple, do you wash it? One of our readers wanted to know, “What is the safest way to clean vegetables and fruit? Is hot water and a scrubbing brush all that I need to use?” To learn more about the best way to clean produce, we reached out to Julie Albrecht, PhD, RD, Professor and Extension Food Specialist at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. 

Julie Albrecht, PhD, RD: “When handling produce, use cold or luke warm water while washing. If the veggie is cold and you use hot water, there is a temperature differential that is set up and water may move into the produce carrying microorganisms with it. The temperature of the water should be similar to the temperature of the veggie. A scrub brush is good for potatoes but not broccoli. Just remember to wash all fruits and veggies prior to eating, whether they’re organic or conventionally grown.”


Dr. Albrecht also pointed us to this helpful resource from Fight Bac!

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Produce Stand” by Rolando Mendez is licensed under CC BY ND.