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Cleaning Fruit & Vegetables For Safe Consumption

Cleaning Fruit & Vegetables For Safe Consumption

Raw fruit and vegetables may be contaminated with pathogenic microorganisms. It is recommended they be washed in clean water and then sanitised before cooking and consumption. Sureshot is an easy-to-use chlorine-based fruit and vegetable treatment that removes nasty bacteria from your fruit and vegetables.

Do I have to wash fruit and vegetables?

It’s necessary to wash all fresh produce including those marked as washed and ready for use. This is vital to remove bacteria, including E.coli, from the surface of fruit and vegetables. Bacteria can be present in the soil with the organisms attaching to the product while it is growing. It is advisable to wash all fruit and vegetables before preparation or consumption to ensure all bacteria are removed.


Why is it important to wash fruit and vegetables?

Fresh produce can contain pathogens that exist in the soil such as Escherichia coli (E. coli) and Salmonella. These organisms inhabit the intestines of consumers causing illnesses that can range from mild to extreme. It takes just a few of these microorganisms for your menu to be infected resulting in food poisoning which is not an ideal outcome in the food service industry.

Fruit and vegetables can also be contaminated in the kitchen through contact with other foods, storage, and during preparation. Contamination can occur when the product is being handled by employees who are ill or have inadequate hygiene.


How to wash fruit and vegetables?

In some instances a good rinse under fresh running water may be adequate. This will reduce the exposure to microorganisms that can cause illness, and chemical and pesticide residues. Cooking or heating produce to 75 degrees Celsius can counter these risks, however, a good rinse prior eliminates risk.

By rinsing produce you’re reducing the dose of microorganisms, chemicals, and pesticides. This ultimately reduces the risk of illness from consumption however, this process isn’t a 100% guarantee for success. Including an industry-approved solution, such as the Sureshot Fruit and Vegetable Treatment, provides peace of mind your ingredients are adequately prepared for safe human consumption.

Ecolab Sureshot Range

Reward Hospitality’s Top 10 Tips for cleaning fruits, vegetables, and herbs for your food service business

  • Sprouts must be used before the use-by-date and refrigerated. These must be washed before serving as they are susceptible to harbouring bacteria due to growing practices.
  • Always follow advice from your supplier regarding washing and storing prepacked salads and vegetables. Confinement in packaging enhances the chance for bacteria to develop and form.
  • Organic produce is no safer when it comes to pathogens and dangerous bacteria. Be sure to wash these just as you would any other fruit or vegetable to eliminate the chance of infection.
  • Self-grown produce requires cleaning just as any other. This is especially vital if domestic pets and wildlife are in your veggie patch. Birds are likely to be regular visitors and they likely carry bacteria that can cause illness in consumers if your ingredients are not adequately cleaned.
  • Use an agent, such as Sureshot, to provide an extra measure of cleanliness and protection to your fruit, vegetables, and herbs. The specially developed chlorine wash is the extra measure you need to ensure your ingredients are safe for human consumption.
  • Any staff with a gastro or viral illness should not be permitted to prepare food or be in the presence of food preparation at all.
  • Separate fruit and vegetables from uncooked meat, fish and poultry during storage and preparation.
  • Implement food preparation procedures (such as colour-coded chopping boards for different products) to prevent cross-contamination.
  • Ensure good hygiene practices are engrained in all staff members from the kitchen to front-of-house. Highlight the importance of additional vigilance when preparing food for the elderly, young children, those who are immunocompromised, and pregnant women. It’s best practice to assume every customer is immunocompromised to ensure the best food handling standards in your business.
  • Thoroughly clean all equipment, food preparation utensils, and surfaces regularly. Also, audit storage and food practices to ensure safe food handling is up to industry requirements ensuring your clients can consume your menu in the safety of your establishment.

Can food poisoning bacteria be removed from fruits and vegetables?

Yes, contamination and bacteria can be removed. Bacteria and chemical residues are predominant on the surface of fruit and vegetables. They can be somewhat removed by thorough rinsing with clean water however further measures are advised with the use of an added wash using specially formulated solutions that counteract the contaminants.

You must follow instructions for the storage and preparation of packaged ingredients and ensure they are washed and sanitised during preparation. Maintaining safe food handling training within your team is also vital in insuring your ingredients are safe for service to your customers.


Are there treatments I can use for extra measure?

There are chlorine-based fruit and vegetable treatments available to give extra piece of mind your fresh produce is adequately prepared for service. The products are used as a secondary way to sanitise the products from any bacteria or chemicals without compromising the quality and taste of the produce.

An example of this is the Sureshot Fruit and Vegetable Treatment which comes with a built-in portion-controlled system that is an easy-to-use, accurate and no-mess dispensing solution. This product improves the safety of fresh fruit and vegetables by eliminating the risk of salmonella, E.coli and listeria.

Reward Hospitality has hygiene and cleaning solutions for your food safety

There’s a lot to consider when maintaining cleanliness and food safety in your kitchen. We stock everything from food labels to food coverings and cleaning products suitable for use in food contact areas. We also have many more resources to help you through this process including a guide on Cleaning Chemicals and Tips for maintaining Food Safety with Colour Coding in your kitchen.

Check out our extensive range of products and browse our resource centre for more tips and advice.