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Friday, November 14, 2014

Health Talk: How Do you Wash Your Fruits?

 Health Talk: How Do you Wash Your Fruits?

There are some hygiene rules that we take for granted before consuming some fruits. Now, that Nigeria has been given a clean bill of health on the deadily Ebola scourge, it appears we have all gone to sleep. There has always been the rule that a fruit is fit for consumption after a wash especially if you are going to eat the skin of the fruit or vegetable.

For healthy living, it is now a must that both old and young should eat more of fruits and vegetables to ward off diseases as eating a balanced diet daily is almost impossible occassioned by pressure of our day to day activities. As cheap as these fruits are, so also, is contracting dirty fruit-induced infections.

In case you are having a bowl of vegetables or fruits as dinner, ensure you or whoever is preparing your dish do the following religiously:

If you’re going to eat the skin of a fruit or vegetable, rinse it under cold running water first. But most people are unaware that all fruits and vegetables should be washed — even those with inedible skins or rinds. Unknown to many thousands of people are sickened each year by contaminated food and many times the source of the outbreak is produce.

Wash properly any produce so as to eliminate harmful germs or bacteria that can cause any food-borne illness.

There are several ways that produce can become contaminated. As it is grown, it comes into contact with animals, soil, water, and farm workers — all of which can introduce harmful substances to the fruits and vegetables. Once produce is harvested, it passes through several sets of hands (as it is packed, transported, purchased, prepared, and stored), each of which has the potential to contaminate the food with harmful bacteria and germs.

As a general rule, always wash your hands with warm soapy water both before and after preparing fresh produce. Almost all produce can be washed under cold running water (no need to use soaps or detergents) — produce that is either firm or thick-skinned should be gently scrubbed with a brush to help wash away hard-to-remove microbes. Then, once your produce is washed, be sure to dry it with a clean towel or paper towel so that you don’t re-introduce germs. Once your produce is properly washed and dried, it can be peeled, sliced, or cut.

These fruits and vegetables, however require special attention when it comes to cleaning:

Broccoli and Cauliflower
Broccaoli and cauliflower have lots of crevices where germs can hide. Soak broccoli and cauliflower in a bowl of cold water for two minutes before rinsing them under cold running water.

There is the tendency to see washing an avocado as a waste of time before cutting it, but it has been discovered that the skin can harbour harmful bacteria thereby contaminate your knife as you cut. Rinse the skin and scrub it gently with a brush before cutting the avocado.

Stems can trap bacteria and dirt. Ensure you trim both ends of the apple after washing it under cold running water preferably with a brush.

Hot Peppers
When next you want to use hot peppers, wear gloves, even when you’re washing them. Findings have shown that pepper’s natural oils can burn skin and eyes.

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