Keeping Your Fruits And Veggies Clean

Chefs who are just getting started may be wondering what type of perfect and simple recipes they will need to get started in their education as a chef. But before you even turn on the oven or fire up the grill, there is one important step that you need to implement into your prepping routine: washing your produce.

Here are some of the steps that you need to take to make sure that you have a clean and safe preparation and cooking space:

Cleaning your work surface
Even if you are using a cutting board, bacteria can still be lingering on your countertop, so it’s important to make sure to all surfaces are cleaned with warm water and a mild disinfectant like all-purpose spray or vinegar. Remember – sponges are known to harbor germs, so make sure that you are washing or replacing them often if they are your cleaning method of choice. Don’t forget to wash your hands, too!

Invest in several cutting boards
One good way to avoid cross-contamination is to designate separate cutting boards for raw meat, cheeses (as their flavors can be very strong) and produce. Consider using different colors so you know exactly which one to pull once you’re ready to prep. What’s the best way to wash produce? There is a big debate in the culinary community about the best way to keep fruits and vegetables safe and healthy. You can shell out a lot of dough using expensive veggie washes at the local market, but are they really worth the price?

Here are some must-dos, according to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration:

  • Cut away damaged or bruised areas. No one wants to eat rotten produce!
  • Keep your water running and thoroughly rinse all fruits and vegetables. Whether you picked them up at the local farmers market or the grocery store, dirt, bacteria and pesticides are all common substances that live in these plants. Do not use soap or detergent to clean your produce. The FDA also does not recommend commercial food washes.
  • Even peeled vegetables or fruits should be rinsed so that dirt and bacteria aren’t transferred from your knife back to the food item.
  • Firm produce, such as melons or cucumbers, should be scrubbed with a vegetable brush, which can be found at many grocery stores for a minimal cost.
  • Dry your produce with a clean cloth or paper towel.

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