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It’s time to heavily scrutinize your kitchen conduct, for your benefit of course. We already know that we should wash our food to get rid of pesticides and pathogens that can make us sick, but how we wash our food is just as critical as the reasons why we do.

Before you put your food under the positive, check out these tips to figure out what you’re doing wrong, or what you can be doing better to get your food meal-ready. After all, one in six people in the United States will get sick due to food-borne illness, and we don’t want to be one of them.

1. Don’t Wash Meat

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Research has shown that washing meat like chicken, turkey and beef can spread dangerous bacteria around your cooking area. Washing meat under water sprays tiny raw meat juices all over the place, contaminating your kitchen. Cooking meat properly is the safest way to kill bacteria and avoid illness.

2. Washing Fruits and Vegetables Does Not Get Rid of All Pathogens

It gets rid of 99.9999% of bacteria, which is fantastic, but it only takes a small amount to make you sick. If you really want to protect yourself, you should cook your produce instead of eating it raw. However, I’m not advocating that you cook an apple before you eat it, I’m just saying that the method isn’t foolproof.

3. Don’t Use Soap

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It may seem like a good idea for a moment. When we wash our hands, we use soap to kill the bacteria, so why not do the same with our produce? Well, soaps are not intended for human consumption, and even when we wash the soap off, it most likely leaves behind a residue that we can’t see.

This is also true for body washes and bar soaps. They can also leave a soap residue that you can’t see on your skin. Good old fashioned water will take away most of your concerns. If you want, you can add a bit of vinegar or lemon juice to the water you wash your produce in instead.

4. You Can’t Get Rid of All The Pesticides On Your Food

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Just like bacteria, you can’t get rid of pesticides 100%. There will still be minute traces on and/or in your produce, but not enough to fail the EPA’s human health requirements. If you want to take an extra step to avoid pesticides, buy organic produce or buy produce with thin skins organic because these foods are more likely to have pesticides seep in them.

5. Rinse Your Organic Foods

They may not have pesticides, but they’re still grown in dirt and are therefore subjected to much of the same contamination as non-organic foods like microbial pathogens and fecal contamination.

6. Wash Pre-Washed Veggies

Rewash your bagged produce to avoid leaving your health entirely in the hands of food companies, especially if you don’t know their food-cleaning practices.

You can find all this information and more at StumbleUpon. Stay safe in the kitchen!

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