How To Wash Fruits And Vegetables During COVID-19?
Does washing fruits and vegetables help protect your family from coronavirus? Read on to know the proper method of sanitizing your veggies to prevent the virus from entering your home.
By Dr Shyam Kumar
With the coronavirus pandemic keeping everyone indoors, you may be anxious about safeguarding your family from the threat of COVID-19. Whatever precautions you take against coronavirus contamination, there are still some essential items which need to come inside the house – fruits, vegetables and groceries.
But how do you disinfect vegetables and fruits? Does washing fruits and vegetables help protect your family from coronavirus?
Here is a set of ten such FAQs which will clear all your doubts about how to clean vegetables and fruits after you bring them home.
FAQ 1: Does COVID-19 spread through food?
No, it does not.
There is currently no evidence that COVID-19 spreads through food.
FAQ 2: Should I wash fruits and veggies as soon as I bring them home?
It is best to rinse fruits and veggies just before you plan to eat or cook them.
Storing them after rinsing can result in bacterial growth and cause them to go bad quickly.
FAQ 3: Is it okay to wash fruits and vegetables with detergent or soap?
No, it is not safe to do so.
Residual soap on fruits and veggies can be harmful to your health causing gastric symptoms (mimicking that of COVID-19). It can also impact the flavour of food.
FAQ 4: Does washing vegetables and fruits with salt water help?
Yes, it does.
Washing with 2% salt water will remove most of the contact pesticide residue present on the surface of farm produce.
FAQ 5: Is it safe to soak fruits and vegetables in water?
No. It is not advisable.
There is a potential for cross-contamination if done so.
FAQ 6: Which is better for rinsing vegetables and fruits – hot water or cold water?
It is advisable to use cold water.
Washing with hot water can cause the vegetables to wilt or droop.
FAQ 7: What is the proper method for washing vegetables and fruits?
Rinsing vegetables in cold running water while gently rubbing them is enough to get rid of 90-99% of germs and other contaminants.
Consumption of contaminants (dust, pesticides and germs) present on the surface of fruits and vegetables can cause various illnesses.
FAQ 8: Is it safe to sanitize vegetables and fruits using vegetable washers?
Yes. It is safe to use eco-friendly vegetable washers.
Vegetable washers use technology such as ultrasound waves and ozonisation to get rid of pesticides and germs.
FAQ 9: What other precautions should I take while sanitizing fruits and veggies?
Wash your hands with warm soapy water for 20 seconds both before and after handling them. Also disinfect the kitchen counter, cutting boards, knives and cutting areas.
Accidental transfer of germs from your hands to your mucous membranes can result in COVID-19 or other illnesses.
FAQ 10: How to prepare a DIY sanitizer to clean food contact surfaces?
Make a solution using 1 teaspoon chlorine bleach in 4 cups of water. Apply to surfaces and rinse thoroughly with water.
Chlorine bleach can be very effective in killing undesirable microorganisms.
Eat healthy, stay safe, stay at home!
About the expert:
Reviewed by Dr Neha Sanwalka Rungta on 20 April 2020
Dr Neha Sanwalka Rungta specializes in Neonatal and Paediatric Nutrition and is the director of NutriCanvas.
About the author:
Written by Dr Shyam Kumar on 20 April 2020
The author holds a degree in Homoeopathy with an MBA in Hospital Management and has worked across multiple disciplines including healthcare and technology. As a nature lover, he attended the world's first underwater CEO's conference to combat marine pollution.
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