So how safe is unwashed fruit these days?

This has absolutely nothing to do with the fact that I ate a bunch of dark red grapes for lunch not remembering I hadn’t washed them first.

Not safe at all–it is about to be eaten!

I realize that it is a bad habit, but I never wash fruit before eating it, and I’ve never got anything from it yet.

99 times out of 100, you’re fine.

I used to work Produce at Safeway and that included unloading the warehouse orders from the truck. Supermarket warehouse orders come on pallets stacked 6-7 feet high and wrapped in plastic. Warehouse pickers don’t really give a shit what happens to the stuff once it’s loaded, so pallets are routinely stacked in a random, unbalanced, willy-nilly manner with little to no regard for an item’s weight or ability to support weight; as long as they can get it onto the truck before it tips, they are completely unconcerned. So, pallets frequently arrived at the store tipped over and items strewn all over the trailer, which I would then have to clean up, salvaging as much product as possible.

My point is, there’s a not-insignificant probability your produce has been rolling around on a filthy truck trailer floor for several hours before it even reached the store, nevermind whatever the growers and packers did to it before then.

Bottom line, you’re probably safe eating unwashed produce, until you’re not.

I recall hearing about a wheat flour recall due to salmonella, and I wondered how in the hell flour could have salmonella. As it turns out, birds shit on wheat fields. And I’ve never worked as a produce picker, but I’d bet that days are long, breaks are few, and plumbed toilet facilities rare. (I’d love to be wrong about any of that!) So I just assume that all of my produce has been pissed on by someone or something, and I take the foolproof action of rinsing it with water.

And all of the other lotion, germ and makeup encrusted hands that fondled them before you bought them. :eek:

Dude, make your will. Quick. You probably only have days, or maybe hours.


Yeah, I’ll wash apple, peaches, or plumbs. But grapes? Nah…

I’ve been working in produce all my life and can confirm that. Many times I’ve watched drivers open their trailer doors to have all kinds of fruit come rolling out because a pallet tipped over. And in pretty much all but the cleanest warehouses*, those boxes are getting stepped on, climbed over, pushed around, things drip on them from other places.

I recall one day I dropped something on the floor and asked someone if I should throw it out, his reply was ‘it was grown in the dirt, picked by a farmer with dirty hands and put in a dirty box, it’ll be fine’.

And all that is just dirt, there’s still chemicals/wax on them as well. On grapes you can usually smell the sulfur.

If we move past produce for a minute, I’m surprised more/most people don’t at least rinse the top of their soda can off. You’re putting your mouth all over it and, I can assure you, some not clean things have been all over it as well.

My daughter, a very green person, says to always rinse strawberries. They are subject to lots of pesticides.

I have learned to only rinse what I am going to eat. Rinsing all seems to shorten their life.

God that’s enough to scare you from even touching
the stuff. Much less eating it.
I know bad things go on in restuarant kitchens, For some reason it never occurred to me to worry about the back of supermarkets.

Same here. I never picked up the habit of washing fruit.

A woman I knew named Lupe always washed EVERYTHING. She told me the field workers who pick the fruit are penalized by time for walking over to the J-Johns. So they don’t .

Haven’t you heard about this huge epidemic of millions of people dying from eating unwashed fruit???

What? You haven’t?

Huh. Wonder why that is.

Washing them removes any protective coating they have on them and yes, they will rot faster. If for no other reason, you’re now trying to store wet produce. A lot of local produce still has dirt on it and the stuff from huge farms has a wax coating on it. Both of those will protect the produce.

Millions of people that don’t wear seatbelts are also alive.
Surely you’ve heard the recalls. 10 people sick here, 15 people sick there.

Just because something hasn’t killed millions of people doesn’t mean you shouldn’t protect yourself from it. Most people probably don’t wash their produce…most people also don’t get into car accidents.

I rinse my fruit, but I realize that it’s a pointless action. Rinsing doesn’t do anything but waste water.
But, I still do it.

You don’t have to die for it to matter. If I told you “Eating this unwashed apple will give you twelve hours of cramping shits”, you’d probably wash it first, right? Except most people just say “Man, I was sick last night” and don’t tie it back to the “healthy” apple they ate.

I for one never implied that eating a pissed upon cucumber was a death sentence.

If you’re eating plumbs, you must have teeth of iron.

That’s what I was just going to say. I sometimes “wash” my fruit but as I’m doing it I think, “What is this even doing?” Just polish your apple on your shirt before eating - same thing!

It’s definitely not safe and I always wash them.

Once during a 30 mile bike ride, when I didn’t bring enough water, I bought some plums from a farmers’ market stand. They looked clean, and I was so thirsty, I gobbled several down. Three hours later, I began 12 hours of extremely painful cramps and violent ejection of material from both upper and nether orifices. Dropped ten pounds in 12 hours. I will never, ever, eat unwashed fruit again. And I now always bring more than enough water for the projected bike ride.

PS. Only rinse what you are going to use just before you use it. Berries, especially, spoil quickly after rinsing.