Questions or comments? Email Alice Henneman, MS, RDN, Extension Educator
Even if you plan to peel produce before eating or eat / scoop / cut it out of the peel (such as cantaloupe halves, watermelon balls, pineapple chunks), it is still important to wash it first so dirt and bacteria aren't transferred from the knife onto the fruit or vegetable.
Here are some additional guidelines from the Food & Drug Administration on washing produce (retrieved 9/6/2014):
Wash all produce thoroughly under running water before eating, cutting or cooking. This includes produce grown conventionally or organically at home, or purchased from a grocery store or farmer's market. Washing fruits and vegetables with soap or detergent or using commercial produce washes is not recommended.
Scrub firm produce, such as melons and cucumbers, with a clean produce brush.
Dry produce with a clean cloth towel or paper towel to further reduce bacteria that may be present.
Copyright-free and FREE pictures of fresh fruits and vegetables (only attribution and non-commercial use required)
Fruits and Veggies: Why More Matters (handout)
National Food Day, Week and Month Calendar (several fruit & vegetable resources)
Home Food Preservation (canning, freezing, drying)