COVID-19: How to clean fresh vegetables and fruits

The FAQ page of the U.S. Department of Agriculture reports that “We are not aware of any reports at this time of human illnesses that suggest COVID-19 can be transmitted by food or food packaging.”

The rampant outbreak of COVID-19 has led to many concerns and questions regarding the consumption of fresh fruits and vegetables. Also, current research has found that the virus is not food transmitted or foodborne. Experts suggest practicing the same step that we normally use to lessen the contamination risk as much as possible by washing hands and washing fruit and vegetables before consuming to reduce the risk of contracting the virus.

Here are some best ways you can clean fresh vegetables and fruits:

Delicate Fruits & Veggies

Some food products such as berries, tomatoes, and ripe stone fruits need to be rinsed under a steady but low-pressure water stream. Handle the fruits and vegetables with care and gently turn them underwater so that these are rinsed properly and do not get squished or bruised.

After cleaning them, place them on clean kitchen or paper towels to dry so that they do not get crushed.

Leafy Greens

Take all your green veggies and put them in a large bowl of water. Then swish the vegetables in the bowl around to loosen grit or sand, if any. Keep still for a minute so that all of it falls to the bottom of the bowl. Now, lift the greens out of the bowl. Repeat if needed to remove any sand. Now, run the green vegetables in the colander and rinse under cold water properly.

Sturdy Fruits & Veggies

Food items such as asparagus, cucumbers, grapes, and green beans are sturdy. And to clean them, you have to rinse them well under a high-pressure stream of water while rubbing it with your hands. You can let them dry in a clean colander if required.


Since mushrooms tend to absorb water, most chefs prefer to never let them get wet. This makes them give out steam rather than sear when placed in a hot pan. The best way is to wash them and quickly swish them in the colander under a hard blast of water. And you can pluck off the hard clumps of dirt while rinsing them. Using a single layer of clean kitchen towel or paper towels to dry.

Root Vegetables

Many vegetables grow below the ground, and that’s why are often very dirty. You could rub off the dirt with your hands or use a vegetable brush even.

Wrapping up, you can use commercial products and soapy water washes for effective and thorough cleaning of the fruits and vegetables.

It is extremely important to lessen the microbial populations. But leafy greens such as lettuce does not get cleaned easily of all the microbes. Sometimes, they escape heavily chlorinated water and hide in the cracks of the plant tissue and microscopic pores.

So, people who have low immunity and are vulnerable to infections should not eat fresh salads. You must keep fruits and vegetables in the refrigerator after getting cut.