News 4 Investigates: Daily Briefing

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News 4 Investigates: Cleaning Produce

by rkinsaul

KMOV.com

Posted on April 25, 2008 at 10:55 PM

Updated Wednesday, Nov 4 at 3:06 PM

By now we've learned there could be some pretty nasty stuff on the food you order if restaurant employees aren't washing their hands or handling the food properly. But when you purchase and prepare the food yourself, you've got the power to make sure it's clean. If you Google the topic and you'll find a lot of different advice on the best way to wash your fruits and vegetables. From distilled water, to saltwater to bleach. The FDA recommends rubbing the fruit under running water. We tested three methods, running water, a vinegar solution and a commercial spray. All did an adequate job of removing the bacteria. Dietitian and food safety expert at Saint Louis University, Kathleen Kress suggested that you use a brush on produce that has a rough, porous or uneven exterior where the bacteria can hide in cracks and crevices. But you wouldn't want to use a brush on fruits or vegetables with a soft skin that could be damaged. Dish soap and antibacterial soaps are not recommended because they could leave a fragrance and our tests showed that something that strong wouldn't be necessary. Lastly, don't forget to clean your countertops and cutting boards regularly so that they don't become a home for bacteria and then contaminate your produce the next to you prepare some fruits and veggies.

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