FAQ – Frequently Asked Questions

Cleaning Produce

Do I have to wash fruits and vegetables with soap before I use them?

No – using clean water instead of soap is the best way to remove bacteria and wash fruits and vegetables correctly. Soaps can leave residue on foods that may not be safe for human consumption.

Do I need to wash fruits or vegetables before I peel them?

Yes, it is recommended that you wash fruits or vegetables before you peel them. Bacteria on the peel can still make its way into the fruit or vegetable as it is being peeled.

Do I need to wash meat and seafood before cooking them?

No – washing meat or seafood is not recommended. The process of rinsing meat or seafood can increase your chances of getting food poisoning because the water transfers the bacteria from the meat to your sink and counter.

Do I have to wash produce that has been prewashed or is marked ready-to-eat?

No – According to the FDA, you do not need to wash pre-washed produce including bags of salads and frozen fruits or vegetables. Washing pre-washed or “ready-to-eat” vegetables may contaminate the produce.

Do I need to wash grapes before storing them in the refrigerator?

No – it is not recommended to wash grapes before storing them in the refrigerator. Moisture created by washing grapes speeds up the grapes’ decay. To keep grapes fresh, it is recommended to store them unwashed in a plastic bag in the refrigerator.

Food Storage

What is a safe refrigerator temperature and how can I tell if my fridge is cold enough?

A refrigerator should always be kept under 40° F to reduce the risk of bacteria growth. To prevent foods from freezing, it is recommended to keep your refrigerator’s temperature between 37º F and 40° F. Most refrigerators will come with instructions on how to set their internal temperature. If you are still unsure of the temperature inside your refrigerator, refrigerator thermometers are available in most grocery and hardware stores.

Should bread be stored on the counter or in the refrigerator? Can I freeze bread?

It is recommended to store fresh bread on the counter as bread stores in the refrigerator will become stale. Fresh bread typically stays fresh for up to a week at room temperature when left on the counter and kept in its original packaging. When frozen, the shelf life of bread can be extended up to three months.


Why are there expiration dates on bottles of water?

The expiration dates on bottles of water are meant to be indicators of the quality of the bottle and the water inside them. Once a bottle of water has passed its expiration date, its appearance, smell, or taste may change but according to the FDA, the water is still safe to consume.