Health Tip: Suggestions for Cleaning Fruit and Veggies

(HealthDay News) -- Some 48 million people in the United States get sick each year from contaminated food, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration says.

And animal products aren't the only culprit. Produce -- such as spinach, lettuce, tomatoes and cantaloupe -- also may be a source of foodborne illness, the agency warns.

The FDA suggests how to help ensure that your fruit and veggies are safe:

  • Wash hands well with warm water and soap before and after handling produce.
  • If bruising occurs during preparation, cut away damaged areas before eating.
  • Rinse produce before peeling to prevent transfer of dirt and bacteria.
  • Use a clean vegetable brush to scrub firm produce, such as a melon or cucumber.
  • Dry produce with a clean cloth or paper towel.
  • Remove the outermost leaves of a head of lettuce or cabbage.

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