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Jul 16, 2010 08:23 PM

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.