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AFF research shows importance of produce washing info

Hands washing produce in the sink with information on why FDA recommends washing produce.
The Alliance for Food and Farming gives this advice for washing off pesticide residue.

During focus groups conducted by the Alliance for Food and Farming (AFF), the importance of washing produce was a recurring theme as consumers discussed produce safety.

In fact, washing fresh produce was raised unprompted by all three focus groups and participants frequently returned to the idea of washing to alleviate safety concerns.

Statements like this were common among the groups: “I know I’m going to wash it when I get home, so I’m not terribly worried about safety.”

In a follow-up nationwide survey, 82% of respondents stated this information increased their confidence in produce safety: “According to the Federal Food and Drug Administration, washing fresh produce before eating is a healthful habit. You can reduce and often eliminate pesticide residues if they are present on fresh produce by washing them under running tap water.”

The AFF’s research provides further confirmation that information specific to proper handing and washing of fruits and vegetables should continue to be emphasized in produce safety conversations.

Unfortunately, as with many food-related topics, there is often misinformation about how to wash produce.

Visit our Just Wash It section to learn more. But remember, running tap water is all you need to clean produce. Never use dishwashing liquid or other household cleaning products on your fruits and veggies.

The AFF’s new comprehensive consumer research project included virtual focus groups followed by a nationwide survey to determine changes in the levels of concern among consumers about safety issues specific to produce. This research was conducted to help improve overall information-sharing that will reassure consumers about produce safety.

Visit our new webpage, What Do Consumers Think?, to review more research results.

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This update was distributed by the Alliance for Food and Farming.

For more information, please contact Teresa Thorne: