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Why You Shouldn’t Wash New Produce Immediately

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We’re all looking to save time, but if you wash your produce while putting away your groceries, you might want to skip that step from now on.

It’s actually best to wash your produce right before you eat it. In fact, washing it any earlier could do more harm than good.

There’s no doubt that thoroughly washing your fruits and vegetables is important. Produce is touched by tons of people in a grocery store and could also still have pesticide residue on the surface. Cleaning it will remove any harmful chemicals and germs.

If you do it too soon, though, you could encourage bacteria growth by allowing the fruits and vegetables to sit in water. The additional moisture could also cause some varieties of fruit and vegetables to spoil. Plus, if you’re rifling through your produce drawer, you could reintroduce germs from your hands.

While there are exceptions (think cleaning lettuce and storing it with paper towels), for the most part, you should be washing your produce just before eating to ensure that it’s as clean as possible before consumption. All you need to use is plain tap water.

So, next time you’re tempted to clean your produce as soon as you get home from the store, skip that step! Not only will it make those fruits and veggies safer to eat, but you might even be able to catch a few extra minutes to relax.

Shea Simmons Shea Simmons
Shea Simmons is an Atlanta-based writer who has written about everything from whether Crisco is a good moisturizer to how to KonMari your space. Her work has appeared in Bustle, My First Apartment, and Make It Grateful. Read Full Bio »
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