5 Foods You Should Always Wash, Because No One Wants Food Poisoning

Many of us fit in cooking between the hectic hustle and bustle of our daily lives. This can mean we are often in a rush to get things done, so taking culinary short-cuts is a no brainer. Unfortunately, sometimes we skip necessary steps that may be necessary for our health, such as washing our fruits and vegetables.

Skipping that extra part of preparation may seem harmless, but foods often contain dirt and other chemicals that can make you sick, both in the long-term and the short-term.

"It is important to wash fresh fruits and vegetables thoroughly under cold running water before eating, cutting, or cooking," says Lori Kenyon Farley, a Certified Nutrition Consultant. "This includes produce grown conventionally or organically, as dirt, bacteria and other pathogens can be present."

To make sure you avoid any excess pesticides or harmful bacteria, make sure you always wash the following five foods, which are the most susceptible to dirt and contamination.

Berries

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Because berries pass through many hands when they go from the field to your table, they can become infected with pathogens such as salmonella and E. coli. Wash your berries to avoid these as well as rinse off pesticides.

Apples

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Apples are a part of the Environmental Working Group’s ”Dirty Dozen,” which means they get sprayed heavily with pesticides that could cause long-term damage to your health. Studies show that 72 percent of apples have chemical residue, so be sure to rinse the crunchy fruit before taking your bite.

Leafy Greens

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Leafy greens are especially susceptible to contamination, especially from bacteria like E. coli. Washing your lettuce before consumption can help avoid this issue, but when it comes to your salad, make sure you only wash right your greens right before you’re going to eat them. “Never wash your greens and store them back in your refrigerator,” says Melissa Karch, RDN, CNSC, CLT. “This moist environment could be a breeding ground for bacterial growth.”

Root Vegetables

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In addition to running foods like potatoes under water, be sure to scrub firm vegetables to make sure you are completely removing any bacteria that could be present from the dirt or fertilizer the vegetable was grow in.

Mushrooms

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Since mushrooms are grown close to the ground, they need to be gently rinsed to avoid contamination. You can also use a damp paper towel to wipe down mushrooms if you are worried about them getting soggy.