IT is certainly more convenient and saves you having to pick up a knife and slice it yourself but Spain’s food safety agency is warning people against buying pre cut fruit and veg.

Go to any supermarket, mercado or green grocer and will you have the options of buying pre sliced fruit.

Cut fruit
Image from: Orbmiser /Flickr

Of course it is tempting to purchase a pre prepared pineapple – who wants to wrestle with that spikey touch exterior? And who doesn’t prefer buying a half or quarter of a watermelon to save lugging a whole one home?

However, not only are you paying a higher price at the checkout – pre-cut fruit and veg comes with a significant mark up – but you could also be risking your health.

According to Spain’s Food Safety Agency (AESAN) certain fruit is much more likely to be contaminated if you buy it pre-cut. They have issued a warning about buying pre cut and packaged fruit with high water content such as watermelon, melon, pineapple and papaya.

The outer skin acts as a natural protector that will keep the flesh within fresher and more likely to be free of bacteria. PLus you can wash it before you start slicing and dicing to wash away any lingering bacteria before it reaches the flesh of the fruit within.

Not so if you buy pre-cut fruit, which has a far higher chance of carrying salmonella especially when kept in warm temperatures..

Although it is entirely legal to sell precut fruit and veg in Spain, there are strict rules that must be applied. The fruit must be kept in temperature below 25ºC and in a ventilated space that is not exposed to direct sunlight. 

The agency also says such fruit should be consumed within three hours of being opened.

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