To wash fruits and vegetables, just use one thing only: cold water.
The US Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has just released an ominous news: the number of calls to poison control centers has increased significantly in the first quarter of 2020 compared to the same period last year.
Among them, the number of calls related to detergent poisoning increased by 20.4%, and the number of calls related to disinfectant poisoning increased by 16.4% – according to data from the National Toxicological Data System ( NPDS) of the USA.
The number of calls to poison control centers began to increase sharply in March each day, with bleach poisoning cases leading the list of detergents, and disinfectants and hand sanitizer poisoning cases. Non-alcohol leads the list of disinfectants.
NPDS cannot provide a direct link between hotline calls and corona virus from the information collected only; But considering the current situation, it seems that people’s health concerns during the corona virus pandemic are likely to be a cause of this increase.
The CDC newsletter also gave a horrific example: a woman filled her washbasin with a mixture of bleach, vinegar, and hot water, then dipped her food into it. She was later transferred to the emergency room by an ambulance to treat respiratory problems because she inhaled the said chemical mixture.
This information leads us to a conclusion that everyone probably knows: even in the context of COVID-19, you will want to clean everything as clean as possible, but never use products. cleaning products with fruits and vegetables!
Dr. Donald Schaffner, a professor in the Food Science Department at Rutgers University, has outlined the basic safety principles that people should follow when performing routine cleaning:
- Use only detergents designed for hard surfaces on surfaces – do not use them on food or your hands.
- Only use cleansers designed for skin on the skin – do not use them on food or surfaces.
- Do not mix cleaning products together. Lucky situation: your furniture will not be cleaner. Bad situation: you can poison yourself.
But if you want to wash vegetables when you bring them home from the store (even though you don’t really need to do that), what is the best way to wash fruits and vegetables? Is just rinsing water like we usually do is enough?
According to Dr. Schaffner, to wash fruits and vegetables, the only thing you need to use is cold water.
If the product you want to wash is thick and hard, you can use an extra brush. The washing process should take place right before you eat that product. If you put the freshly washed product in the refrigerator, it is more likely that it will become moldy.
“I absolutely do not recommend washing with soap or bleach,” he said.
What about the internet advice that you often read, that you can wash food with a mixture of vinegar and water? Schaffner says there’s not much evidence that this mixture will help your food clean. “My advice is to save vinegar to make a good vinaigrette salad.”
You also do not need to quickly buy food products that are advertised headlining at the grocery stores. Schaffner says that many of these products have not been evaluated for their effectiveness in conventional disinfection, and do not expect them to help fight off SARS-CoV-2 virus. If using a dishwashing liquid makes you more secure, and your bag is full of money, “I think you can use those products,” Schaffner said. “However, I think better money should be spent on buying fresher foods.”