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Wash your bananas (and other lessons in cleaning produce)

Stored under Caption This!GamesMiscellaneousNewsRecipesRelated EBay AuctionsReviewsVideosVisual Stimulation on March 1, 2007

When it comes to motivating people to wash their produce before eating it, visuals seem to help.

Potatoes, for instance. No food safety argument is needed when dirt is that easy to see and feel. But how about tomatoes and apples, which arrive at the grocer flawless and shiny? And bananas and watermelons, the skins and rinds of which you’ll never eat?

Getting people to wash those — yes, even the bananas — just takes a different sort of visual.

“Probably 100 people handled that banana before you did,” says Ann Zander, a food safety expert with the Colorado State University Extension in Longmont, Colo. “If you have somebody who hasn’t washed his hands after the bathroom or has the flu, that’s all over it.”

How’s that for motivation? Here’s the best way to wash your fruits and vegetables:

Wash everything. Virtually all produce should be washed at home just before it is eaten. Washing in advance can reduce shelf life and promote bacterial growth.

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