Fruits and vegetables that don't need to be washed

Asked August 1, 2019, 12:00 PM EDT

Do you have a list of fruits and vegetables that don't need to be washed with water. When the tap water is available, it has to be boiled. Distributed bottled water is limited. Low income situation. I can think of oranges, bananas, avocado and corn, but wondering what other produce would work. Thanks.

Multnomah County Oregon food safety water quality

1 Response

Hi! Thanks for your question. We recommend washing all fruits and vegetables that will be consumed fresh, even if they have a peel, because bacteria can be transferred from peels to inside fruit with a knife cutting through both, or with hands used to peel. We recommend hand washing with soap and water as well, so I think the best case scenario would be if you could obtain a way to store and filter water that doesn't rely on your inaccessible tap water, or buying bottled water. You mentioned boiling water, and if you can do a lot of water at once, you could store it in a 10-50 gallon container for use when the running water is out. If you want to build a water filter that you can pour water over, there are options for making this out of sand and rocks - it would depend what material you have at your disposal. For fruits and vegetables that you don't need to wash, I would recommend items that are designated as "washed" at the store, or frozen or canned items. Frozen fruits and vegetables are generally picked at peak ripeness and flavor, and if you have a freeze to store them, you can buy them for the week or month. If not, you can still buy them to use that day. I hope that helps!