Washing Food: Does it Promote Food Safety?

Should we wash our food? The answer depends on the type of food. Some foods are recommended to be washed, others are not.
Washing Food: Does it Promote Food Safety? - News

Updated: September 9, 2018

Washing Food: Does it Promote Food Safety?

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Should we wash our food? The answer depends on the type of food. Some foods are recommended to be washed, others are not.

Meat and Poultry

Do not wash. Bacteria can cling to meats and poultry that rinsing will not remove. Rinsing actually spreads the germs around in your sink and countertop. The best way is to cook meats and poultry to safe internal temperatures.

Produce

Do wash. Wash all produce under running water to remove any lingering dirt. Use a produce brush for rough skins such as potatoes and cantaloupes.

Eggs

Do not wash. Eggs are already washed as part of commercial egg processing.

Are you Washing Your?

All fruits and vegetables need to be washed before chopping slicing or peeling.

  • Avocados
  • Bananas
  • Clementines
  • Cabbage
  • Dried Beans
  • Grapes
  • Grapefruit
  • Honeydews
  • Lemons
  • Lettuce
  • Oranges
  • Watermelons

However, there is no need to wash any fruits or vegetables that are labeled “pre-washed.”

Source: Washing Food: Does It Promote Food Safety? from the USDA Food Safety and Inspection Service

Authors

Expanded Food and Nutrition Education Program (EFNEP) PA Nutrition Education TRACKS (SNAP-Ed)

More by Mary Reistetter Ehret, M.S.,R.D.,L.D.N.