Unpeeled vs. Peeled – Don’t get confused when it comes to food safety
July 12, 2010
By Andy Orr

In today’s New York Times’ Globespotters post, Fresh, Sweet and Seasonal in Mumbai, Dan Packel tells us about the abundance of fresh fruit available in the APMC Fruit Market in Navi Mumbai. It covers a huge, 22-acre area and sounds delicious. Not to rain on Dan’s parade, but I did think we should remind travelers of dangers sometimes associated with food when traveling.

According to the CDC, “Traveler’s diarrhea (TD) is the most predictable travel-related illness.” It hits 30% to 70% of travelers, depending on the destination. We have covered this subject before, so we don’t need to rehash all of the same information (see Eating Safely: What can I do? and Stop Me If You’ve Heard This One: Where I Met Montezuma); I will stick to fruits and a weird English anomaly.

Simply put, it is better to eat fruit that can be peeled and that you have peeled yourself. Obviously, wash your hands and the fruit prior to peeling. This leads me to my English anomaly: what does unpeeled mean? Is this fruit that has been peeled, as in “undressed,” or is it yet-to-be peeled. The CDC makes a very ambiguous statement in its guide on TD — “Other risky foods include raw or undercooked meat and seafood, and unpeeled raw fruits and vegetables.” If it is risky, I assume they mean “peeled.”