Healthy Food Kitchen tips

Never Wash These 6 Foods Before Eating

Written by Martin M. Haupt

  • 6 foods you should never wash before eating

For hygienic reasons, it is often preferable to wash fruits and vegetables before eating them. But is this rule valid for all? We enlighten you.

Apples, tomatoes, salad, or rice… Before you start preparing a meal, there are many foods that it is recommended to wash or at least to pass underwater. For hygienic reasons, but also to get rid of possible pesticide residues, this step is sometimes unavoidable. But does all food have to be washed before being cooked or eaten? In reality, this gesture can sometimes be useless, or even have the opposite effect to the one you are looking for. We explain.

Never wash chicken

At the top of the list of foods that should never be washed is chicken. If when you unpack your chicken, it seems essential to wash it, you are wrong. Raw chicken is very fragile and already contains a lot of bacteria in its flesh. When you wash it, you allow bacteria to proliferate all over its surface. These bacteria are not always sensitive to heat and may not die during cooking. This is a real health concern since bacterial proliferation can cause infections such as salmonellosis or E. Coli. If you really want to clean your chicken before cooking it, prefer a lemon juice or vinegar rinse.

*Note that this also applies to meat in general which, being a fresh product, can be put directly into the pan.

Do not wash eggs

For reasons quite similar to those of chicken, it is strongly advised against washing eggs. Contrary to what you might think, the eggshell is not a 100% hermetic barrier. In fact, it is rather porous. When you wash your eggs, you destroy the protective film that covers them. When the exposed shell comes into contact with water, it is prone to bacterial proliferation. Here again, there is a risk of salmonella contamination that can be easily avoided. If your egg is a little dirty and it really bothers you, you can always scrub the shell with a small brush before putting it away or breaking it to prepare breakfast.

Don’t wash mushrooms

It is not uncommon to buy mushrooms at the market and find them still full of dirt. Eating dirt is not a good idea. The first reflex is to wash the mushrooms with water to get rid of the dirt. Except that when you wash fresh mushrooms, they react exactly like a dishcloth: they soak up water. Unfortunately, once watery, they become bland and uninteresting in a recipe. Usually, the mushrooms you buy have been pasteurized and are therefore already quite clean. You can still cut off the stem to avoid getting dirt on your plate and brush the head to remove any residue.

Don’t wash the onions

Onions arrive at your house already well protected by a thick layer of skin. Before you cry while cutting your onions into strips, you should peel them and put that skin in the garbage. It is this action that exempts you from running your onions underwater. Any dirt they may have contained is stuck to their outer surface and therefore has had no contact with the edible part. You can still put them under or in water to reduce their effect on your tear glands.

*Note that this also applies to shallots and garlic.

Don’t wash avocados

Hidden under its black, grainy skin, the flesh of the avocado is quite safe. Its skin is so dense that it acts as a barrier against all external aggressions and pesticides. This makes the very principle of washing unnecessary. Not to mention that if water accidentally gets into your avocado and you refrigerate it before eating it, there is a good chance that the flesh will turn black twice as fast. So skip the sink for this food. Just cut and put it to enjoy its flavors safely!

No need to wash fruit without the skin

Just like onions and avocados, some fruits arrive at your home still protected by their skin. The skin is not edible and must be removed and discarded before you can access the fruit. This means that the part you are going to eat is entirely healthy since it has been preserved by its skin from any potential external danger. There is no need to wash oranges, kiwis, melons, bananas, or mangoes. These fruits are very well isolated from microbes and pesticides by their skin. Of course, if you want to do it anyway, there is no risk of developing infections.

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