Washing Fruit and Veg

09:54 Friday 30th September 2011
Mid-Morning Show
BBC Radio Cambridgeshire

ANDY HARPER: Mark has rejoined me (Mark Williamson Producer), fruit in hand. I say fruit, because technically it is a fruit.
MARK WILLIAMSON: Indeed I’m holding one of your tomatoes. Is this a Tumbling Tom?
ANDY HARPER: It’s a Tumbling Tom, cherry tomato, and we had to wait a long while for them, but now, we’re inundated with them.
MARK WILLIAMSON: Mine are over, as I mentioned yesterday, which is a shame, so I gratefully received these tomatoes from you this morning, but then read on the system, that people are being warned to wash fruit and vegetables thoroughly, after experts linked an e-coli outbreak to bacteria contained in soil. Now this is the one where about 250 people became ill with vomiting and diarrhoea between December and July. And of course there were lots of people affected on the Continent, weren’t there, as well. Now, I don’t know what you’ve done with this tomato. You’ve picked it. I don’t know if it’s washed or not. I’m assuming it hasn’t been washed.
ANDY HARPER: It hasn’t been washed. It was picked straight and put into the bag. They have been treated with Tomorite and those sorts of things, over the weeks., but I tell you what Mark, the weather being what it is, I’ve been out there watering them now religiously for week after week after week. So they’ve been well watered. they have been fed, but I have to admit I didn’t wash them before I placed them in the bag for you. So the decision, young man, is yours.
MARK WILLIAMSON: Well I have done the hazard assessment form that the BBC requires. But yes, I have to be honest, it doesn’t really fuss me too much. If it’s a tomato like this, I wouldn’t probably wash it. I might give it a cursory rinse under the tap, yes. But I’m not, I don’t know what the opposite to fastidious is, but ..
ANDY HARPER: That’s not you.
MARK WILLIAMSON: That’s not me with my fruit and veg. So here goes. (EATS) Delicious.
ANDY HARPER: Is it? Good?
MARK WILLIAMSON: They’re really nice, aren’t they?
ANDY HARPER: Yeah they are. Yeah. They’re very flavoursome. Yes.
MARK WILLIAMSON: Thank you for that. But we do want to know your fruit and veg. washing. What do you do, by the way?
ANDY HARPER: Rinse some, not others. I did say this morning, I hesitate to say it, but I have sandwiches today which include rocket. I’m being affected by you, you old South Cambs. chap. I washed the rocket, because it does say, it was unwashed. And I do. When I’m doing a salad, I wash everything. I rinse it all out in a colander. But I must say I’m pretty remiss when it comes to.. I shall eat an apple and a pear between now and mid-day, and I just sort of give them a rub. (LAUGHS)
MARK WILLIAMSON: I only wash my rocket if I think that snails or slugs have been on it. Other than that I wouldn’t bother. But some people, Carol Carman included,(colleague) absolutely fastidious about this.