To Wash or Not? Which Foods Really Need a Bath?

Read this before making chicken for dinner.

Q: To wash or not to wash? Which foods really need a bath?

Oz Says: Tempted to rinse the chicken but not the apple? Don't invite me to dinner until you've read what Jennifer Quinlan, Ph.D., food safety researcher at Drexel University, has to say.

  • Chicken, Meat, Seafood: Don't rinse! These harbor more nasty bacteria than produce, but washing just spreads them around. Rest assured, cooking will get rid of them.
  • Vegetables: Rinse even if you plan to strip off the skin. Bacteria and dirt can get lodged in knives and peelers and make their way into your dinner.
  • Melon: Really scrub these—ridges and waxy coatings collect germs, and your knife can transfer those to the flesh if you aren't thorough.
  • Tree Fruit and Berries: Think shower, not bath: Running water beats a soak at washing away dirt and residue.

This story originally appeared in the October/November 2014 issue of Dr. Oz The Good Life.

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