For hygiene reasons, it is a good practice to wash fruits, vegetables grains, nuts and the like with clean water before food preparation and cooking. But do you know that not all foods can be washed after purchase! In fact, there are some foods that should not be washed for various reasons before consumption. It is an absolute No..No to washing them. Which are these foods that are not suitable for washing?
Foods and washing
During growth, harvesting, processing, transportation, and warehouse storage, certain foods get infested with germs and worms. They might also gather dust and debris and would need to be cleaned after purchase and before consumption. This holds true for most foods but not for all foods. Which are those foods that are not suitable for washing during food preparation and cooking?
Foods that are not suitable for washing
These foods are frozen after cleaning and cutting. So you do not need to repeat the process. It might be a waste of time if you do the washing again of frozen foods. You may need to thaw them before you do for effectiveness.
Bagged greens and salads
The bagged greens and salads are washed many times before they are packed and sold. Usually, cleaned and packed greens and salad vegetables that are hygienic are labeled ‘Ready to eat’. Then you know that they are already cleaned prior to packaging.
These should not be washed. Because doing so will ruin the texture of these edibles. They will rot faster after a wash. Mushrooms absorb water. Hence if you put them in a bowl of water, they will soak up the water and become soggy.
There is a special mushroom brush available for this cleaning purpose. You can use it. Alternatively, you can use a moist kitchen towel or roll to clean them.
In the USA, eggs are washed, cleaned and then covered in mineral oil to prevent bacterial invasion. So when in America, no need to wash eggs.
But in the UK, it is a belief that washing eggs can facilitate spread of bacteria into the shell. Hence, there eggs are not washed. For same reason then, one should not wash them at home too.
Raw meat, fish, poultry
Washing these non-vegetarian food items will cause the bacteria to spread to your kitchen countertop and kitchen sink. And water will not kill these bacteria. You will need special disinfectant to kill them. Therefore, it is better to heat and cook them and this will eradicate the germs.
Do purchases from reliable shops and use the time to clean gadgets and equipments used in the process.
Pasta or spaghetti
No need to wash them like whole grains. If you do, you will only see that the starch is coming out into the water.
Having discussed the above, in countries where honesty in manufacturing and packing is suspicious, it is best to reconsider the above and may be give bagged greens and salads and frozen vegetables and fruits a wash before consumption. That will result in hygienic and healthy eating.