Do you really need to wash produce before you eat it?
curious about something. We generally take it as a given that we should
wash produce before we eat it. But I've never actually seen any
evidence that washing produce at home makes it safer to eat. I'm highly
skeptical that rinsing produce under cool water would be sufficient to
wash away bacteria or pesticide residue in the first place, and I have
never seen any evidence that ingesting trace amounts of (most) bacteria
or pesticide residue produces any long-term health consequence.
In the cases where bacteria has contaminated produce, it's either
inside the produce itself or washing isn't enough to get rid of the
bacteria (case in point: surface-contaminated bean sprouts). It seems
like most regulations deal with the handling of produce before it's
shipped, and I can't find a lick of research that shows that washing
produce at home improves food safety at all. Google Scholar and PubMed
were dry, mostly with studies about food safety in third world
countries. All I could find was this: