washing vegies

Asked January 30, 2020, 6:11 PM EST

I work in the produce dept of a grocery store. I dont buy tomatoes at the store. I'm only eat my garden tomatoes. (Yes, I'm spoiled). The other day I noticed the Roma's looked very shiny. I looked over the case they came in and found out they were coated in wax and resin and a mold inhibitor called Phenylphenol. IF I were to buy these tomatoes, how would I wash them to get all that nasty stuff off? Vinegar , bleach, dish soap, blow torch????

Clackamas County Oregon food safety

1 Response

The recommendation is that you wash your tomatoes in cool running water and use a soft brush to remove the wax and resin which is food grade. If you are really concerned you can dip them for 20 seconds in boiling water and remove the skin. The wax and mold inhibitor prevent the tomatoes from spoiling and should not be a safety concern if thoroughly washed. It is also recommended to remove the stem end which can harbor more bacteria because of the rough surface and harder to clean. .

This time of the year many of our fruits are lightly waxed so they will keep their quality.and not spoil. .

I suggest you continue to grow your own tomatoes in the summer and enjoy them fresh in the summer and preserve the extras by canning, freezing and drying and use those in the winter. This way you don't have to purchase them in the winter if you have concerns.

Do not use soap or bleach to wash your veggies. It is not recommended and research has shown that it is not necessary to remove the microorganisms that can make you sick.

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Nellie Oehler