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Guidelines For Preparing Fresh Vegetables and Fruits
Source: U.S. Department of Defence

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A. GENERAL INFORMATION No. 31(1)
GUIDELINES FOR PREPARING FRESH VEGETABLES AND FRUITS
General Guidelines
Keep fresh fruits and vegetables cold at all times except bananas. DO NOT remove from shipping containers unless
needed within 24 hours. When vegetables, except onions, and fruits are removed from shipping containers, sort, trim,
wash, drain well and refrigerate in covered containers. Wash all fruits and vegetables except alfalfa sprouts, bean
sprouts, mushrooms, and bananas. Soak vegetables, such as cauliflower, broccoli, cabbage and Brussels sprouts, 30
minutes in cold water containing a tablespoon of salt per gallon to loosen soil and remove insects. DO NOT leave
greens in water for more than 6 to 7 minutes. DO NOT soak cherries, grapes or strawberries.
To cut vegetables and fruits, use a stainless steel knife to prevent discoloration. Pare or peel and cut as recipe directs.
Refrigerate well-drained vegetables in covered containers at least 1 hour to crisp before individual salad make-up or
placing on salad bars. If greens are to be held, drain excess water from pans.
Specific Guidelines:
LEAFY VEGETABLES:
1. When sorting and discarding damaged salad greens, keep as many outer salad green leaves as possible to make the
salad attractive and provide nutrients/vitamins.
2. Core, stem and separate salad greens before washing. Wash greens by lifting up and down in an excessive amount
of water. Soak wilted greens in ice water 10 minutes or only until crisp. Drain thoroughly to prevent watery salad.
Place heads of lettuce (core side down) to drain.
a. Iceberg lettuce - Remove core except when shredded or used for wedges. Hit each head (core side directly down)
on counter; lift or twist out core; or cut out.
b. Big Boston, green leaf and red leaf lettuce - Remove base core and separate leaves.
c.  Cabbage and Chinese cabbage - Trim wilted outer leaves; cut in quarters and remove hard core (leave enough of
the core to hold the head together).
REVISION
(OVER)
A. GENERAL INFORMATION No. 31(1)
d. Romaine, endive and escarole - Remove base core and separate leaves.
e.  Collards, kale, parsley and spinach - Remove tough stems.
3. Tear or cut salad greens into bite-size pieces or as otherwise directed in recipe. Remove outer iceberg lettuce leaves
for use as lettuce cups with individual salads.
NON-LEAFY VEGETABLES:
1.
Wash and scrub thoroughly to remove dirt.
2.
Use a vegetable brush for cleaning celery, carrots and potatoes when they are not peeled.
3.
Trim bruised and blemished parts.
4.
Cut tomatoes in slices or wedges shortly before using.
5.
Radishes, carrots, celery and cucumbers may be crisped in ice water. Drain before using.
Alfalfa sprouts - DO NOT wash.
Asparagus - Trim woody ends.
Beans, green - Trim ends and remove strings.
Bean sprouts - DO NOT wash.
Broccoli - Cut off tough ends and remove tough outer leaves, separate into flowerets.
Brussels sprouts - Trim ends and yellowed or coarse outer leaves.
Carrots - Trim tops, pare.
Cauliflower - Trim end and separate into flowerets.
Celery - Separate branches from stalk, trim heavy strings or midribs; for celery hearts,
DO NOT trim leaves.
Corn - Remove corn husks and silk; keep cold; DO NOT soak.
Cucumbers - Pare.
Eggplant - Pare if recipe indicates.
Garlic - Separate cloves from bud; trim clove end, peel off outer skin of clove.
Mushrooms - Trim stem end. DO NOT wash. Brush with soft brush to remove dirt.
(CONTINUED)
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A. GENERAL INFORMATION No. 31(2)
GUIDELINES FOR PREPARING FRESH VEGETABLES AND FRUITS
Onions, dry - Trim ends, peel off outer skin.
Onions, green - Separate bunches. Remove wilted tops, outer layer of bulb, and root end.
Parsnips - Trim tops, pare.
Peas, snow - Trim stem end.
Peppers, sweet, green - Remove stems and seeds.
Potatoes, red - Best used well scrubbed and unpared.
Potatoes, sweet - Remove sprouts, best cooked in skins and then pared.
Potatoes, white - Remove sprouts, for baking scrub well, for others pare.
Radishes - Trim tops, pare.
Rutabagas - Trim tops, pare.
Squash, fall or winter type - Cut as recipe indicates, remove seeds.
Squash, summer type - Trim ends.
Tomatoes - Cut out stem end.
Tomatoes, cherry - Remove stems.
Turnips - Trim tops, pare.
FRUITS:
1. Wash thoroughly to remove dirt.
2. Trim bruised and blemished parts.
Apples - Cut or pare if recipe indicates; core.
Apricots - Remove pit.
Avocados - Pare and remove seed.
Bananas - Peel. DO NOT wash.
Cherries, sweet - Remove stems and pits. DO NOT soak.
REVISION
(OVER)
A. GENERAL INFORMATION No. 31(2)
Cranberries - Sort to remove damaged berries and stems.
Grapefruit - Pare and section or cut as recipe indicates.
Grapes - DO NOT soak. Remove stems.
Kiwifruit - Pare. Cut as recipe indicates.
Lemons - Grate rind. Cut in half to squeeze juice or cut as recipe indicates.
Limes - Grate rind. Cut in half to squeeze juice or cut as recipe indicates.
Mangos - Pare and remove seed. Cut as recipe indicates.
Melons - Cut in half to remove seeds. Pare if recipe indicates. Cut as recipe indicates.
Nectarines - Remove pit.
Oranges - Peel and section or cut as recipe indicates.
Papaya - Pare and remove seeds. Cut as recipe indicates.
Peaches - Pare if recipe indicates. Remove pit.
Pears - Pare if recipe indicates; core.
Pineapple - Pare, remove eyes and top tuft, remove core if tough.
Plums - Remove pit.
Strawberries - Remove caps and stems. DO NOT soak.
Tangelos - Peel and section or cut as recipe indicates.
Tangerines - Peel and section or cut as recipe indicates.
Watermelons - Pare and seed if recipe indicates. Cut as recipe indicates.



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