Since we were young, we have been taught and advised by our parents and teachers to wash any food that we were going to eat in order to clean it from the bacteria. However, sometimes washing food might lead to the spread of bacteria instead of removing it, which would lead to negative consequences.
In this article, we will give you some tips to properly prepare food for cooking and we will pinpoint some of the mistakes that we make every day.
Food That You Should Never Wash
Eggs are often covered by a special substance that works on protecting eggs from being affected by bacteria. When eggs are washed by water, this substance is destroyed, what would allow bacteria in, so you should never wash eggs.
Fresh chicken has a very dangerous bacteria on it, which can affect your health badly. The most widely known type of this bacteria is salmonella. Despite of what a lot of people think, washing chicken before cooking doesn’t help to eliminate the bacteria completely, because when we wash chicken, bacteria will spread to your hands and to the kitchen sink, and that happens because of water.
When you start cooking fresh chicken without washing it, all the bacteria on it will die. Best chefs recommend to boil fresh chicken twice, when the water boils for the first time, you should replace the water and continue boiling.
Just like the case with chicken, fresh :meat (beef, lamb, pork, veal) should not be washed because washing helps the bacteria to spread to both your hands and the kitchen sink, but you can get rid of this harmful bacteria using high temperatures.
Tip: You should use napkins before cooking in order to remove the meat’s juice from its surface and then use both soap and hot water in order to wash your hands.
It is not an easy task to tell who thought that washing pasta is a good idea. Chefs believe that washing pasta is a great mistake to the degree that it should be illegal because washing pasta with water removes the starch which helps to absorb the sauce more effectively.
The only case in which you can wash pasta is after cooking and that is when you want to use it in your salad or a work with stir-fry technique.
You should rinse mushrooms quickly and then dry them using a towel instead of putting them under water for a long time as mushrooms absorb water easily. This should only be done right before cooking them or they will spoil and lose their elasticity and flavor.
Food That You Should Always Wash
1. Fruits and vegetables that have edible skin
You have to always wash fruits and vegetables that have edible skin even if they appeared clean and shiny, so don’t ever let their looks keep you away from doing the necessary washing.
You shouldn’t use soap in cleaning these fruits and vegetables, but all what you need to do is to dry them with a towel or a napkin after washing them with cold water.
2. Tin cans
You must always wash the tin can before opening it, bacteria are kept out of the can thanks to the lid. But they will get into the can if you don’t wash it before opening.
3. Fruits and vegetables that have inedible skin
Similar to the case of the tin can, if the inedible part of the fruit and vegetable isn’t washed, bacteria will get to the edible part regardless of the way that was used to peel these foods, so you should always wash the fruits and vegetable that has inedible skin such as watermelons, bananas and others before eating them.
Even if the nuts are peeled, you are still required to wash them, because you can never know the conditions of their storage or transportation. Fresh nuts contain phytic acid that protects it from different parasites, but that acid can also be harmful for the human body and washing nuts helps to get rid of this acid.
5. Dried fruit
Dried fruits, especially the ones sold by weight, are considered the dirtiest and are easily exposed to dirt and bacteria, so even if you bought them in a nice package, you have to wash them first or even soak them for hours before you start using them.