How to Properly Wash Fresh Produce

12/08/2021
A food safety course can teach you the right way to wash vegetables and fruits

Washing fresh produce is important for your health. The accredited online courses on food safety can teach you the right way to wash fruits and vegetables.

When it comes to food safety, Australia has some strict measures in place. For instance, the Food Standards Code requires those who work in the food industry to receive proper training, which is important as accredited online courses can teach you the correct way to handle and prepare food. They can also help you learn the proper way to wash fruits and vegetables before chopping them up and adding them to a salad. 

Some people like to soak their fresh produce in water for hours before consuming it, while others believe in a quick rinse. While both methods are correct, a quick rinse is usually enough to clean fresh produce unless it is covered in dirt.  

However, there are some who buy their fruits and vegetables from a local farmer’s market and pop them into the refrigerator without cleaning them at all. If you are one of those people, you may want to stop because doing so could lead to food poisoning and cause a host of other diseases. 

Why Should You Wash Fresh Produce? 

Fresh fruits and vegetables may look clean, but they may be contaminated with pesticides, bacteria, and other harmful microorganisms. If the fresh produce has dirt on it, it may harbor pathogens such as E. coli and Salmonella, which can be found in the intestines of warm-blooded animals. In addition, bacteria such as Clostridium and Bacillus also produce spores that can survive in the dirt. Fresh produce can also become contaminated by animals on the farm, unsanitary water, during harvest, during transportation, at the grocery store, during preparation, and by food preparation surfaces.  

In Australia, fruits and vegetables have been associated with many illness outbreaks, including the 2018 rockmelon Listeriosis outbreak and the 2019 Salmonella Havana outbreak linked to alfalfa sprouts. 

Therefore, when you wash your fruits and vegetables, you are essentially reducing the chemicals, pathogens, and bacteria that could enter your body and make you sick. However, if you plan to cook the fresh produce up to 75 degrees Celsius, it is not necessary to wash it first unless it is visibly dirty.  

How to Properly Wash Fruits and Vegetables 

All accredited online courses on food safety teach food handlers the correct way to wash fresh produce. Here is a step-by-step breakdown to help you out. 

Step 1: Clean the sink and the bowl where you will be placing the washed produce 

Step 2: Wash your hands with soap and water 

Step 3: Place the produce under plain running water and rinse it thoroughly 

Step 4: For fruits such as rockmelon, you can use a soft brush to scrub the peel gently  

Step 5: Use a paper towel to dry the fruits and vegetables 

Step 6: Take a clean knife and cut away the damaged and bruised parts on the produce, if any 

Step 7: Once you have peeled or cut the fruits and vegetables, place them in separate containers to prevent cross-contamination 

Step 8: Sanitise all the surfaces and utensils used in washing the produce 

Accredited Online Courses on Food Safety in Australia 

To ensure food safety, Australia requires food handlers to receive proper training. Therefore, if you plan to enter the food industry or start your own food business, the Australian Institute of Accreditation can help you learn all about food safety through its accredited online courses. For more information, please feel free to get in touch with us

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