According to the United Stated Department of Agriculture, before you cook, depending on what you are eating, you should practice different habits to clean your food. Washing implies cleaning but it may not always be true. Foods contain various types of bacteria and germs and often the best way to eliminate these bacteria is to boil the food. Simply washing the food may not be enough and can also result in cross contanimation. For example, if you are washing meat and then pick up an apple, the bacteria on the meat can transfer to your hand then to the apple resulting in an infection. It is generally not recommended to wash meats and poultry. The best way to deal with meat is to boil it at a temperature of 145F or above. There is no evidence to show that soaking food in salt helps remove bacteria. Also since your hands carry a lot of germs which you can transfer to the food, you should thoroughly wash your hands prior to handling your food.
Fruits and vegetables should be rinsed under cold running water to remove dirt and bacteria. Any part of the fruit or vegetable that obviously looks bruised should be cut and thrown away. Look for any wax or artificial coloring agents that may have been added to make the fruit look “appetizing.” For those who have the luxury of having someone cook for them, remember to explain the risks of not treating food adequately prior to consumption. Sorry to state the obvious but you cant take a bucket of water with detergent to your kitchen sink to wash your food.