- Before cutting melons, be sure the outer surface is washed with drinking water and dried with a paper Otherwise, when you slice through them any bacteria on the outer surface can be transferred to the inner flesh.
- Cut melons must be refrigerated at 45 degrees F or below.
- Cut melons may be served without refrigeration for a maximum of 4 hours but leftovers should be thrown If you want to save leftovers, then refrigerate after 2 hours.
- Fruits with high acid content (apples, oranges, pineapples, and lemons) can stay at room temperature longer. The high acid content protects them from being potentially dangerous.
One final note – Do not use detergent or soap to wash produce. Because produce skins and peelings are porous, fruits and vegetables can absorb detergent residues, which are not deemed safe for consumption. If you choose to use a commercial vegetable wash product follow the manufacturers’ instructions. The products will clean the produce, but no research to date has indicated that it does any better job in removing bacteria than water. Lastly dry them with a paper towel that can be tossed away.
For more information or to ask some food safety questions contact the WSU Extension office at 360-397-6060.