How to Sanitize Garden Fruit Correctly
Health officials say it is good for you to eat fresh fruit each day. Luckily, fresh fruits, herbs and vegetables are available in local supermarkets, specialty stores and corner produce stands, and they are easy to grow in your own garden, no matter the size. Before you put any type of fresh fruit, herbs or vegetables in your mouth, however you should think about thoroughly washing these items. Cleaning and disinfecting produce is fairly easy and not very time consuming. Here are some tips.
First, get all of your fruits, vegetables or herbs together. Place them in a large colander, mixing bowl or plastic bag in the kitchen sink. If you use a plastic bag, punch a few holes in the bag before filling it with desired cleaning solution. If you have a soft-bristled scrub brush, you can also use that on your harder produce items such as avocados, apples and oranges.
Prepare to Wash
Use a store-bought fruit and veggie sanitizing spray, or you can opt to use bottled water. You can also prepare your own sanitizing cleaner by mixing vinegar and water in equal portions. Pour or spray the water or cleaning solution onto your items.
You will also want to make sure that you thoroughly wash all of the items. Use the soft-bristled brush only on hard-skinned produce. If you are spraying them with a store-bought solution, coat each piece so it is completely covered. If you are using bottled water, pour the water directly over all of the items. Spray produce with hard skins, but soak soft-skinned produce in the bowl so their skins do not get damaged or possibly torn.
Let It Sit
Let your veggies or fruits sit in the solution for about 3 to 5 minutes. If you wash it off right away, it may not clean the produce thoroughly. If you wash the items without bottled water, and are using straight tap water, you might want to wash the items several times to ensure all debris is gone.
After the items have either been sprayed or soaked, remove them carefully from the bag, bowl or colander. Use a soft, clean kitchen towel or paper towel to carefully wipe each item dry.
Return Used Items
Safely store all of the items that you used to clean fruit out of the reach of small children and pets.
Enjoy your newly cleaned and sanitized fruits, veggies and herbs in salads, entrees, soups, desserts or simply by themselves. Knowing that each piece has been cleaned and sanitized correctly will ease your mind and lessen the possibility of illness due to pesticides and other factors.