I have an atypical question. I'm reluctant to eat raw vegetables after only rinsing them because of germs brought on from being handled by people. Additionally, some fruits (melons) can have salmonella, though rare. I'd feel more comfortable using some type of mild soap on them. However, every single product I've seen in stores has some sort of scent or dye to them. Does anyone else feel the same way and what can I do/use to ensure a raw vegetable platter I prepare is safe to eat and doesn't smell like flowers and the like?

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campagnes
campagnes November 24, 2010

You can safely disinfect raw fruits and veggies with a weak bleach solution. Figure about 1/2 teaspoon of bleach per quart of water. Soak your produce for about 10 minutes, scrub them if you like, then rinse them in clean water.

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campagnes
campagnes November 24, 2010

When it comes to melons, though, I don't know if you'd want to soak them (I don't know if it would hurt, but I've never soaked a melon). Maybe douse it with some of the above solution, scrub it with a stiff scrub brush, let it sit for about 10 minutes, and then rinse? Just a suggestion. Hope this helps! :) (and technically, you don't even have to rinse off the bleach solution, but you certainly can if you like.)

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vvvanessa
vvvanessa November 24, 2010

maybe this will help:
http://www.npr.org/templates...

there are vegetable and fruit washes available on the market:
http://tinyurl.com/3x4hbvy
http://www.veggie-wash.com/?gclid=CIfXtN_fuKUCFQICbAodA1lrWw

if you really must use soap, there are several dye-free, scent-free soaps on the market. method makes one.

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TheMimi
TheMimi November 24, 2010

You can get the same affect with white distilled vinegar and it's less toxic. The acid level is quite high and should kill any germs. Treatment would be different in that you would mix a solution and spray your produce. Or you could put a generous amount of water in the sink, add a generous amount of vinegar on shopping day and run everything through the sink. I found that things lasted longer treated with vinegar water. Be careful with berries. Spray them and set them to dry before putting away. I can't see how soaking uncut melons would be a problem as long as we're not talking about soaking overnight.

see: http://www.natures-treatments.com/white-vinegar.htm

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nutcakes
nutcakes November 24, 2010

Great question, but don't use soap on your food! Great answers. Vinegar, who knew? Great NPR Article. Thanks everyone.

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betteirene
betteirene November 24, 2010

You're not alone, CentralNJMan. Isn't that nice to know? That's one of the reasons I grown my own (speaking of which, I got my first seed catalog in today's mail--woohoo!), but I still keep a gallon of white vinegar under the sink.

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CentralNJMan
CentralNJMan November 24, 2010

I'd just like to say thank you to everyone for taking the time to read my question and for your responses. Good ideas. I'll start tomorrow! Enjoy your Thanksgiving everyone!

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