Food Safety: Proper Handling of Vegetables

Wow, this Hong Kong public health site I just discovered over the weekend, the Centre for Food Safety, is just a treasure trove of high-yield and reader-friendly material! It’s the best government-run information I’ve seen which can materially help all China expats make healthy food decisions. There are literally dozens of useful PDFs and pages that people can read. Please check it out and spread the word!

One website section under “Multimedia Library” has a collection of quarterly food safety bulletins; another deals with food poisoning. In this latter section I found a good review of how to handle vegetables. Their conclusions are commonly known but good to restate: to reduce pesticide risks, leafy vegetables should be washed in running water several times, then soaked for one hour or blanched for one minute. You can download the PDF file here.

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2 thoughts on “Food Safety: Proper Handling of Vegetables”

  1. What I'd like to know is do the vege washes available in supermarkets help reduce the chemical residues or are they a waste of money? I have heard that vinegar is just as good as the vege washes. The question is do they remove contaminates or just clean the dirt off….

    1. As far as I understand it, most pesticides would get washed away along with the dirt; but certainly there are amounts absorbed in the skins, which is why I always would peel something that can be peeled. Vinegar does have antiseptic properties and should kill many bugs on the surface…

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