It is important to know how to wash and store different types of vegetables and fruit in order to help your food last longer, keep it tasting great, and safe to eat.
Most fresh fruit and vegetables have a natural protective coating (except for leafy greens), so washing them before you are ready to eat or cook them will make them spoil faster. The best way to wash vegetables and fruit is under running water right before you are ready to eat or cook them.
BEFORE YOU START
Make sure you wash your hands with hot water and soap before and after handling fresh produce.
FRUITS & VEGGIES WITH RIND
Some examples of fruits and vegetables with rind include cantaloupes, carrots, potatoes and squash.
You need to wash fruit and vegetables with a rind because it prevents bacteria on the rind from going into the food when you slice it.
It is best to use a soft, clean produce brush under running water, then pat dry.
LEAFY GREEN VEGETABLES
Wash all leafy green vegetables under cold runing tap water.
For vegetables such as lettuce and cabbage, remove the outer leaves first and throw away wilted or discoloured leaves.
Rinse leafy vegetables in a colander, drain and dry in a salad spinner or pat dry with a paper or tea towel.
Store leaves in clean paper towels or tea towel in a sealed plastic bag in the fridge. Use within a week.
Berries can be very delicate, so it is important to handle them gently to avoid making accidental jam when washing!
It is also important to wash the berries right before you eat them, otherwise they will become soft and spoil quickly.