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Do you wash and peel your fruits before consumption?

So when do you usually wash the soft skin fruits which you are going to peel and eat?

For example, when you decide to peel an apple, do you wash it first? Other examples such as pears, peach, kiwi..

Some people feel "wash and then peel" is redundant. Other believe fruit skin needed to be cleaned before peeling. Otherwise, dirt on the skin will get on the peeled fruits. What about you?

This is not about hard skin fruits like orange and banana. In addition, I am not asking if you wash and eat (with skin on). I often eat an apple with skin on, but this is not the question here. The question is really about combination of wash and peel. Thanks.

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  1. Probably a safe bet to wash and peel no matter how redundant you might think it is. Whatever might be on that unpeeled skin will definitely end up on the peeled part.

    I used to think eating a few berries out of the box without washing was OK until I talked to a berry farmer and he said "don't".

    3 Replies
    1. re: monku

      :) I will tell you a story. I were at a street market and saw a box of mangoes dropped as it was unloaded from a truck. The mangoes were half submerged in a small pool of street water. The workers picked up the mangoes one by one and put them in the box.

      Ha ha ha.

      Now it is possible that they went back and wash the mangoes or maybe they were sold as they are. I don't know.

      I will say that I currently wash and peel, but I have a feeling that I will go back to my old way in a month or so.

      1. re: Chemicalkinetics

        Good example of "what you don't know might be bad for you?"
        When in doubt, wash it.

      2. re: monku

        I concur with monku, Wash THEN peel. My mother was a nurse and big into the logic of cross contamination.

        Fruits should be washed not only to get rid of dirt, but because there's a possibility of micro-organisms like bacteria. On fruit that hasn't been bruised or damaged, the skin keeps the flesh "clean" until you cut/peel it. You'll notice on TV, surgeons only "swab" the area of skin they are about to cut. That's because cutting through the skin is how the contaminants get from the skin surface into flesh.

        I do carelessly pop the occasionally berry into my mouth without washing. But I figure if I'm going to go to the trouble of peeling something, I may as well make sure as I can the contaminants stay off, hence washing first.

        BTW, the FDA website says wash it first.

      3. I wash fruit before peeling and cutting, because that way I can catch the juices in a bowl without concern I'm getting who knows what along with them. I've also worked in a grocery and seen what sometimes happens on the loading dock, in the walk in, etc. I will say, though, that most employees really were conscientious, at least where I worked. But, you just never know where that fruit or veg has been.

        1 Reply
        1. re: amyzan


          I agree with you 100% that most workers are very conscientious, but with as small as a 1% of exception, it will impact every one of us.

        2. I wash, or rinse is probably a better word.

          It probably does not much good, but psychologically I just feel better.

          (And I know you said this was not part of this post, but I also rinse certain hard or inedible skinned fruits, esp. bananas.)

          6 Replies
          1. re: ipsedixit

            Really? I expect nobody rinses hard skinned fruits, so that was why I asked people not to response.

            Anyway, I rinse more than wash, and more than often, I don't do anything.

            1. re: Chemicalkinetics

              I always wash citrus with a little dish soap before I put it in the fridge. It gets the mold off the rind. Lemons keep longer.

                1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                  Well, I don't peel pears or peaches or whatever before I eat them, so of course I rinse them. I would rinse a kiwi before peeling it. And when I make an apple pie, I actually rinse the apples after I peel them. Maybe I was a raccoon in a former life.

                  1. re: small h

                    ???? I understand everything until the raccoon part. What does raccoon has anything to do with rinising/peeling fruits?

          2. when you've seen squirrels walk over your fruit trees, and birds pooping too you might want to wash mangoes, apples, pears, oranges etc before you peel or eat, even if you've grown them yourself.

            1. Wash? Yes. Peel? NO! That's where the vitamins and fiber are.
              I don't wash blackberries or raspberries, though, because it ruins 'em. I know, I'm probably poisoning myself.

              7 Replies
              1. re: EWSflash

                Washing/rinsing blackberries and raspberries ruins them? I thought they were already rinsed/washed before packaged in a box, no?

                1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                  I don't know, but once I get them wet they're never the same, so I don't let them get wet.:-)

                  1. re: EWSflash

                    I store all berries in jars in the fridge as soon as I buy them (they last much longer), but rinse before eating.

                  2. re: Chemicalkinetics

                    Most berries shouldn't be washed before they're packaged. They won't store long once washed.

                    1. re: amyzan

                      I would have been more clear. I really mean rinse. I don't expect the farm to actually wash anything. Do you know if berries are rinsed before put into the boxes, or they just do straight from branches to the boxes?

                      1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                        No, they aren't rinsed, either. They simply won't store or ship well if water touches them after they're picked.

                    2. re: Chemicalkinetics

                      They aren't.
                      A long time Oxnard rasberry farmer told me to make sure I washed them before eating.

                  3. I don't wash any fruit, except berries. I'm not concerned about the 'micro-organisms' that might be on them.

                    1. I always rinse fruits before peeling and always rinse berries before eating. When I'm at home and have complete control over the situation I never eat a peel (apple, peach, etc.) It gets in the way of the fruit taste to me. I never rinse oranges or bananas before peeling. My mom taught me to do it this way and it became a habit very early on.

                      2 Replies
                      1. re: woodleyparkhound

                        So what you are saying is that you usually DO NOT peel fruits, but in the case you do decide to feel the fruits, you will rinse them ahead, correct? Thanks.

                        1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                          No, I always peel fruit (pears, peaches, apples, etc.) as I hate eating the peelings. However, if I'm on a picnic and I'm hungry when someone hands me a pear and there is no knife I'll eat it unpeeled!

                      2. Returning to the examples in the OP......

                        I rarely peel an apple or pear but, if I was doing, I wouldnt rinse it. Similarly, I always peel a kiwi and never rinse it. I'm sure I've never had reason to consider peeling a peach or nectarine so I don't know what I would do.

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: Harters

                          Thanks Harters. That's what I used to do to.

                        2. I wash before I peel or cut into a melon or other fruit whether I'm eating the skin or not.

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: mcf

                            Me too. It surprises me to see my mother-in-law who is very careful of cleanliness cut into unwashed melons and grapefruit, etc before serving them as is.

                          2. This topic has surfaced before. I live in a Magic House except for imported fruits and veggies. I lived in Bolivia & Brazil, the conditons on farms and markets was was terrible. Cholera bact found in our local open air market. We TRIPLE washed all fruits & veggies.
                            Back in the US, back in the US, not the USSR and we continue to wash. Much of our imported produce comes from Latin America where sanitation and pesticide (DDT?) regs differ greatly from the US. I washed Latin American produce while living in Latin America and continue to wash Latin American produce imported to the US of A. Seems like a no brainer to me.
                            Christ, if I got hepititus, I couldn't drink for a year!!!!

                            4 Replies
                            1. re: Passadumkeg

                              oh god, i never thought of the hepatitis/no drinking for a year connection! you've convinced me: wash everything well!

                              1. re: mariacarmen

                                E-coli too. My firstwife got hepatitis and typhoid in Bolivia. I ate, drank and learned Spanish at every cheap restaurant, bar and dive I could find. I tried to take her to some of my favorite spots and she'd take one look and refuse to go in. I never got sick.

                                1. re: Passadumkeg

                                  how long were you in Bolivia? and why? now i know why you are so familiar with their food! you probably know their fruits much better than i do, too.....

                                  1. re: mariacarmen

                                    Four years teaching and adopted a little 4 year old female abandoned street kid; were have 4 oof our own boys too. E-mail me so the thread stays on topic.
                                    Mi gusta Kjarkas

                            2. I always wash fruit with dish liquid first, then eat or prep. Something I also do is wash the rind of a whole fruit before I break it down. I recently hoisted a whole watermelon into my sink to wash the rind before I began cutting it.
                              The thing is, once your blade slices through dirty/contaminated rind, it drags the germs all over the the little pieces you bite later.

                              1 Reply
                              1. re: monavano

                                !st, detergent, 2nd bleach, 3rd clean water rinse, 4th air dry. I make our Magic House.

                              2. I buy mostly organic produce, so no scary pesticides, but yeah, I wash everything. I grew up near Watsonville, CA and would see portapotties in the fields for the pickers to use in the days before Purell, so I learned to wash, wash, wash. It's pretty obvious that dirt from the outside will get on the peeled part, so if this is a concern, why wouldn't you wash?

                                1. I normally don't peel my apples for 2 reasons: 1. laziness; 2. I like getting the vitamins on the peel (which is really just a rationalization for #1.)
                                  But if I were to peel, yes, I wash first. It has to do with my OCDness. I think that the germs will be transferred from the skin to the body of the fruit via the peeler. So I always rinse my apples and oranges before cutting/peeling.