Do You Feel Like a Nut?

By Bill Adler, MPH, RS
Technical Food Safety Consultant

Sometimes You Feel Like a Nut. Sometimes You Don’t!  Advertising jingles are cute and often stay in our memories. That’s the point. It’s an advertisement meant to stay with you right up to the point of sale. I wish we had a memorable jingle. Or a high-dollar advertising budget. Alas, we don’t. Instead, we put out interesting information on a website and during product demos that provide potential customers with the information they can use.

Some of it is a little off-putting because of the ramifications of not getting produce clean. However, our information isn’t ‘Steven King’ scary or designed to have you buy out of fear. Instead, we are trying to grab your attention with science-based facts that life isn’t always rosy, and our inactions have consequences. Our message is and continues to be that washing produce with Life’s Pure Balance Fruit and Vegetable Wash gives you a better tasting product that’s also much safer and better for you in the long run.

Does this leave a jingle in your mind? I doubt it. But we hope you remember the message that cleaning your food before eating is better for you.

Should you wash nuts? I honestly don’t know. Then too, I seriously don’t know how long bacteria persist on the dry surfaces of pecans, walnuts, cashews, hazelnuts, macadamia nuts, or any others. The nuts are dry at the surface and inside, making the environment inhospitable to bacteria and mold. But, this doesn’t mean it can’t be there. Peppercorns have been found to harbor Salmonella. However, the dose you get peppering your eggs is so tiny that our bodies generally don’t develop the urge to purge. Rice has been found to have Bacillus cereus on the surface, but this becomes a hazard only after the rice has been cooked (and mishandled). Flour can harbor Salmonella, but it only becomes a hazard if we eat it before cooking. Think raw cookie dough. Dry pasta isn’t a problem but becomes what restaurants call TCS food (Time and Temperature Controlled for Safety) once they’ve been hydrated during cooking.

Should canned foods be washed? Hmm, good question! Gene Wood, the LPB Fruit and Veggie Wash developer washes beans and corn and has reported improving the taste. Granted, he might be a little biased, but it was his unknowing relatives who pronounced his Texas caviar better than the rest. And all he did was wash the canned beans and corn.

But that brings up another topic: what is actually on canned produce, this is a topic for another blog post!

But, back to our message. It’s tried and true—no jingle or catchy phrase that’ll stick in your brain while you’re trying to sleep.

Wash your produce in a solution of LPB Fruit and Veggie Wash.

Rinse it off.

Enjoy the flavor knowing you’ve removed all sorts of gunk, both living and synthetic, that makes it unhealthy and robs you of the taste it should have.

Bill Adler is an expert in food safety, foodborne illnesses, and the foodservice inspection industry. He has conducted training for the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) teaching local, state, and federal disease investigators as well as working with laboratory specialists and epidemiologists. Bill has worked extensively with the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) to perform food service inspections and train local and state public health employees.