Enjoy infused water safely
Handle fresh fruit safely to help ensure your infused water is not contaminated.
With no added sugar and virtually no calories, water flavored with fresh fruit, also known as infused water has become a popular way to increase water intake. It is also a creative and healthy way to use leftover fruit. However, if the fresh produce is not properly prepared, it may increase the risk of someone catching a foodborne illness.
A recent study conducted by Callejon and colleagues has found that of all foodborne outbreaks occurred in the U.S. between 2004 and 2012, incidences caused by fresh produce ranged from 23 to 60 per year. According to the US Department of Agriculture (USDA), fresh-cut fruit is considered potentially hazardous. When fruit and vegetables are fresh-squeezed or used raw, bacteria from the produce can get into your juice, including your infused water. With this in mind, it is important to handle fresh fruit safely when making infused water. Michigan State University Extension provides the following tips.
How to prepare fresh fruit infused water safely:
- When buying fresh fruit, inspect produce thoroughly for intactness and choose fruit without any bruises or damage.
- When buying pre-cut fresh fruit, such as watermelon cubes, only choose refrigerated items or items surrounded by ice.
- Before preparing, wash hands thoroughly with soap under warm running water for 20 seconds.
- Ensure water is safe to drink or use bottled water purchased from a licensed and reputable source.
- Store infused water in a clean and sealed container.
- Date the infused water container and refrigerate it at a temperature of 40 degrees F or lower if you have any infused water leftover. Refrigerate leftover infused water within 2 hours.
- Fresh infused water should be stored in a tightly covered container in the refrigerator for about six days. Prior to drinking, be sure to inspect the water for any spoilage.
Keep cross-contamination in mind!
- In the market, be sure to bag fresh fruit separately from raw meat, poultry, and seafood to prevent cross-contamination.
- Store fresh fruit in a clean container on the shelf above raw meat, poultry, and seafood.
- If you handle raw meat, be sure to wash hands properly before preparing fresh fruit.
- Use separate cutting boards for fresh fruit and raw meat.