Tip of the Week

Do I really need to wash lettuce, salad vegetables and fruit?

If so, why?

Last year there was an outbreak of Ecoli food poisoning in the US where over a hundred people were made very sick and a number of people died due to the illness.  The outbreak was traced back to Romaine lettuce.

Ecoli and other bacteria can be present in manure and also in water used to grow crops.  It is a serious hazard as infection from Ecoli can be life threatening.

Added to the potential for bacteria to have infected the produce during growing, the produce has been picked, stored, packaged, etc., and is likely to have been touched by numerous hands along the way.

Wash all lettuce and salad vegetables in water before preparing.  Wash in a large colander in a sink of water, drain and wash again.

Also wash fruit where the skin is eaten or shin is cut through.  Some melons have bacteria such as Salmonella present on their thick skins.  If you do not wash the melon, you could transfer the bacteria from the skin onto the flesh of the fruit when cutting it.


If the fruit or vegetable is labelled ‘Washed and ready to eat’ there is no need for any further washing.

Weekly Food Fact

Did you know that Watermelons are both a fruit and a vegetable.  They are made up of over 90% water.  However, watermelon has more lycopene than any other fruit or vegetable.  Lycopene is a very powerful antioxidant.  Watermelon is also high in vitamin C and is a good source of fibre.