6 Vegetables You're Probably Washing Wrong

According to the United States Food and Drug Administration, as many as 48 million people are sickened by contaminated food each year — and many times the source of the outbreak is produce. Washing your vegetables may seem like a no-brainer, but properly cleaning some of the trickier ones is a whole different story.

Click here for the 6 Vegetables You're Probably Washing Wrong (Slideshow)

There are so many different ways that vegetables can become contaminated. As they grow, they come into contact with animals, soil, water, and farm workers — all of which can introduce harmful substances. Once the vegetables are harvested, they pass through several sets of hands (as they're packed, shipped, purchased, prepared, and stored), each of which has the potential to contaminate the food with harmful bacteria and germs.

As a general rule, you should always wash your hands with warm soapy water both before and after preparing fresh vegetables. Many vegetables can be washed under cold running water (no need to use soaps or detergents) and those with firm or thick skin should be gently scrubbed with a brush to help wash away hard-to-remove microbes. There are a few vegetables, however, which require special attention when it comes to cleaning — here's a quick guide to washing them.

Kristie Collado is The Daily Meal's Cook Editor. Follow her on Twitter @KColladoCook.