How To Wash Fruits And Vegetables: FSSAI Shares Guidelines

The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) has shared some guidelines for the proper cleaning of vegetables and fruits to prevent the spread of coronavirus through them

There is often a dilemma on how to handle fruits and vegetables that we get from the market. Should we wash them? Should we consume them immediately? Or, should we use them next morning?

There is no evidence that COVID-19 spreads through food either cooked or raw. It is the handling by people that could cause potential contamination. Discarding all packaging, washing fresh fruits and veggies under running water, storing in clean containers and cooking at the right temperature are the basic food safety norms that should address this issue.

According to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), washing fruits and vegetables with soap, detergent or commercial produce wash is not recommended.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) also doesn’t recommend washing fruits and vegetables with soap, detergent or commercial produce wash. Soap or detergent residues can stay on produce.

The Partnership for Food Safety Education, recommends cleaning produce properly gently run under cold running water. If you do have a tough exterior to your produce, like melon or pineapple, use a clean stiff bristled brush under running water.

The CDC gives even more detail regarding washing fresh produce. They recommend cleaning fruits and vegetables before eating, cutting or cooking unless the package says the produce have been washed (like packaged triple washed baby spinach).

Now, the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) has shared some guidelines for the proper cleaning of vegetables and fruits to prevent the spread of coronavirus through them, even as there is no certainty yet about whether the virus can be transmitted via food items or not.

In a Twitter post, the official handle of FSSAI shared a 5-tip graphic to guide people on how they should wash their fruits and vegetables to maintain their safety.

  • Keep the fruits and vegetables bought from vendors within the packet itself in an isolated place.
  • Wash the fruits and vegetables thoroughly or put a drop of 50ppm chlorine in warm water and dip them in it.
  • Wash them with potable or clean drinking water.
  • Do not use disinfectants, cleaning wipes or soap on fresh produce.
  • Keep fruits and vegetables required to be refrigerated in the refrigerator. Keep the rest at room temperature in baskets or racks.
  • In another set of guidelines, FSSAI also advised:

  • Do not store or leave the food outside of the house in cars or garages to avoid the risk of food safety issues like temperature abuse or pest exposure.
  • Clean the sink and platform where food items have been washed. Do not let the drip fall on the floor or else you must wipe it immediately.
  • In case of food packages, sanitise or disinfect by wiping them with an alcohol-based solution or soap and clean water
Facebook Comments