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 (FDA) on washing produce:
- 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.
- Remove the outermost leaves of a head of lettuce or cabbage.