Do I have to wash melon before I eat it?

Do I have to wash melon before I eat it?
Photo: Becky Luigart-Stayner; Styling: Leigh Ann Ross

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If you have a cooking question, our expert, Marge Perry, can answer it. Marge teaches home cooks in her classes at the Institute of Culinary Education in New York City. She is an award-winning food writer, longtime contributor for Cooking Light and a number of other leading food magazines, author of the blog A Sweet and Savory Life, columnist for Newsday, and has contributed to over 20 cookbooks.

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Yes—it is really important to wash melon before you eat it. I know it seems silly since you don’t eat the rind, right? But think about this: As you cut into the melon, your knife drags the bacteria on the surface right into the flesh of the fruit—the part you do eat.

Run melon under cold water and rub smooth-skinned varieties clean with your hand; rough or netted-skin melons, like cantaloupe, should be gently scrubbed with a vegetable brush under the water.

For recipes and tips on melons, see our video, How to Prepare Fresh Melon and our collection of Melon Recipes.

Marge Perry
Jul, 2012

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