What Foods Should Not be Washed and Why

As strange as it may sound, professional chefs are convinced that not all products should be washed. This is especially true of eggs. It is hard to believe, but there are foods that should not be washed. Chefs believe that when we wash some products, we can spoil the taste of the product or the final dish. In addition, sometimes we can wash away the protective film from the product and thereby open up access to bacteria.

What foods should not be washed?

You should not wash frozen berries, fruits, and vegetables. These foods are washed just before they are frozen. As a rule, frozen vegetables are not only used without washing but also without defrosting beforehand.

As for frozen fruits or berries, depending on the dish you plan to cook, it is allowed to defrost at room temperature. However, neither frozen fruit nor frozen berries should be washed categorically.

You should also not wash frozen herbs. They can be used without first defrosting. In addition, do not wash frozen convenience foods under any circumstances. These dishes do not involve washing and you will simply ruin the food.

Also, under no circumstances wash frozen mushrooms. As for the fresh mushrooms, that’s where many chefs differ in opinion. Some argue that fresh mushrooms should be washed, while others are convinced that you just have to peel them and you can do without washing.

You should not wash raw eggs, as you will significantly reduce their shelf life.

Do not wash fresh vegetables if you do not plan to use them in the next few hours. Carrots, beets, and potatoes will start to spoil much faster if you wash them and leave them in storage.

Why you shouldn’t wash raw meat

As strange as it may sound, chefs are really convinced that you shouldn’t wash raw meat.

It is believed that washing raw meat washes out all of its beneficial substances because you disrupt the molecular composition of the meat. In addition, micronutrients are washed out, which will eventually affect the taste of the dish.

Also, there is an opinion that the dishes in which you wash raw meat can become dangerous for other products because bacteria will remain in them.

Also, keep in mind that meat forms a thin natural film that keeps bacteria from spreading. That’s why, when choosing meat, all you have to do is smell it to suspect it’s running out of shelf life. In trying to deceive customers, dishonest sellers sometimes wash meat to remove a specific smell and make the product more attractive.

However, this should not be done. Also, one should not wash meat with hot water, as the taste will be hopelessly spoiled.

Chefs advise not to wash raw meat, but simply drain the first broth. This applies to poultry meat as well as beef and pork. Some hostesses prefer not to drain the first broth, but only to remove the foam, but this will not give a complete purification of the broth and it will be quite turbid.

Can I not wash the chicken before cooking?

Yes, you can. But in this case, you will have to drain the first broth. If you plan not to cook the chicken, but to roast or bake it, the question of whether you can not wash the chicken before cooking disappears by itself. In this case, the answer is no.

Chefs’ advice is very simple: if we boil the bird, we do not wash it and drain the first broth. If baking or frying, wash and wipe with a paper towel.

Why we should not wash eggs

As for eggs, chefs are convinced that eggs that you plan to store should not be washed. If you do, you will wash off the protective shell of the product and open the gateway for bacteria. In the case of eggs, for salmonella.

If you don’t want to risk using eggs without washing them, wash them just before use. Washing eggs in advance and then putting them in the refrigerator for storage is strictly forbidden.

Why you shouldn’t wash the greens

Chefs are convinced that washing greens significantly reduces their shelf life. It also increases the risk that the dish will spoil faster.

Lettuce, parsley, and dill leaves should not be washed, but just lightly rubbed with a damp paper towel. If the greens are dirty and washing is necessary, be sure to blot them with a paper towel. To the question of why you should not wash the greens, chefs give a simple answer: using wet greens significantly reduces the shelf life of cooked food.

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Written by Emma Miller

I am a registered dietitian nutritionist and own a private nutrition practice, where I provide one-on-one nutritional counseling to patients. I specialize in chronic disease prevention/ management, vegan/ vegetarian nutrition, pre-natal/ postpartum nutrition, wellness coaching, medical nutrition therapy, and weight management.

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