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Ask the Expert Archive

Do bananas need to be washed before eating?


Q. Do bananas have to be washed?


A. All fresh produce should be washed under running water before eating, even if you don’t plan to eat the skin, such as melons and oranges. Germs can be passed to the flesh when cutting or peeling. Soap or any other cleaning products are not needed. Make sure that you rinse your produce thoroughly under cool water. Do not rinse fruit or vegetables until you are ready to eat.

Bananas are the only item I don’t personally wash since I can eat them without ever touching the flesh after peeling it. Banana companies wash bananas multiple times after harvest and before being packed, so I’m always comfortable that they don’t need to be washed when removed from the box. However, if other people have handled the bananas without following proper food safety protocol after they were removed from the box, it would be a good idea to wash the banana if you are cutting the banana in half (with the peel on) to serve to others, or if you’ll ever touch the flesh after peeling it.

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