Play it safe: the right way to clean fruits and veggies

Category : HEALTH & BEAUTY

Featured on ShopSmart

I worry these days about E. coli and all the other icky illnesses I can get from food. Remember the tainted spinach and tomato scares of just a couple of years ago? And now there are new deadly outbreaks of E. coli in Europe in the news possibly traced to cucumbers, tomatoes, and other fresh produce.

I wanted to be better informed, so I got onto the Food and Drug Administration’s website to take a little refresher course in prepping fresh fruits and veggies. And I’m glad I did, because I’d been taking risky shortcuts with my family’s health. Here’s what the site recommends:

Wash your hands for 20 seconds with warm water and soap before and after prepping fresh produce.

Cut away any damaged or bruised areas (harbingers of bacteria) before prepping or eating.

Gently rub fruits and veggies while rinsing under plain running water; you don’t need soap and water.

Always wash produce before you peel it, too, so dirt and bacteria aren’t transferred from your knife to the food.

Use a clean vegetable brush to scrub melons, cukes, zucchini and other firm fruits and veggies.

Dry with a clean cloth or paper towel to help reduce any lingering bacteria.

Tear off and toss the outer leaves of lettuce and cabbageheads.

To bone up on more food safety tips go to FDA’s website and be sure to read  ”10 Food Shockers” in the June issue of ShopSmart, now on newsstands. It’s full of easy solutions to some scary surprises.


World Renowned Restaurateur Eric Ripert Buys Radiation Detector To Test Seafood At Le Bernardin

Category : FABFOOD


April 11, 2011

Chef Eric Ripert of New York seafood mecca Le Bernardin spoke with CNN’s John King about his recent purchase of a dosimeter to detect radiation levels in the fish he serves. As he suspected he found “absolutely nothing” but finds the instrument helpful in allaying customers’ concerns in the wake of Japan’s ongoing nuclear emergency.  (Click on the above link for interview transcript)

Ripert explains that each night four or five tables had been asking questions and wanting more information about the fish. He adds that although he was getting hamachi and kampachi from the south of Japan, he has stopped to due the price increase and the current difficultly in obtaining the product. He still uses other Japanese ingredients and has no intention of taking them off the menu.

The New York Times reports that Sushi Yasuda plans to follow in Ripert’s footsteps, and that many other food companies are struggling with how to assure customers that their products are safe.

Watch Eric Ripert’s CNN appearance below for more on serving seafood from Japan:

Video with CNN anchor John King