Do Bananas Need to Be Washed? (3 Worrying Reasons Why Bananas Are Bad for You)

I don’t suppose you have ever wondered, do bananas need to be washed?

After all, the fruit is fully enclosed, and it’s not as though you are going to eat the skin!

Is there perhaps a danger of bacteria or chemicals somehow getting through the banana peel?

You would assume that bananas are washed anyway as part of the picking and packing process.

Maybe you should wash the banana itself once you have peeled it.

Read on to discover if washing your banana is really necessary.

Do Bananas Need to Be Washed?

In general, all fresh fruit should be washed before eating and that includes bananas. Although bananas will already have been washed after harvesting, ready for packing, there is always the risk that somebody could touch them without following proper safety precautions. Obviously, the skin will not be eaten, but as the banana is being peeled, any bacteria could be transferred to the fruit. If cutting the banana in half, the knife could acquire bacteria from the skin and transfer it to the fruit. As such, the banana should be rinsed in cool water, just before eating, no soap products are necessary. 

1. Why Do You Need to Wash Bananas?

So, we have now established that you do need to wash your bananas.

Unfortunately, despite the processing company having washed them after harvesting, and before packing, there are still opportunities for the bananas to pick up bacteria.

At any point during the transportation process, up to the time that the bananas are placed on the supermarket shelves, they could have been touched by anybody.

If that person is not wearing gloves, or has not washed their hands thoroughly, they could transfer bacteria to the banana peel.

Of course, you don’t actually eat the skin, so why do you need to wash it?

If you picture yourself peeling a banana, can you genuinely say that you never actually touch the fruit inside?

Maybe a piece of the skin is sticking, and as you pull it away, your fingers brush the fruit.

Or are you one of those people who doesn’t like the very end of the banana and breaks it off?

You are not safe even if you are using a knife.

If you cut the banana in half, then as the knife cuts through the peel, it could pick up bacteria and transfer it to the exposed edge of the fruit.

Always wash your banana in cool water and rinse well, just to be on the safe side.

2. Are Bananas Harmful to Human Health?

So, if we are at risk of ingesting bacteria from unwashed fruit, can bananas be harmful in other ways?

Allergies

The most obvious reason to avoid bananas is if you are allergic to them.

People with a banana allergy will develop itching, swelling, difficulty breathing, hives or wheezing on contact with the fruit.

They don’t even have to eat any banana, the above reactions can occur from simply touching the fruit or its peel.

In the worst case, a banana can bring on anaphylaxis which can be fatal.

Migraines

Bananas can also be responsible for bringing on migraines.

This typically occurs in people who get migraines from aged cheese.

The culprit is an amino acid called tyramine, which can cause headaches.

Tyramine is found in cheese and bananas.

However, most of the tyramine is in the peel, which of course we don’t eat.

But some tyramine may also be present in the strings that cling to the banana, so these should be removed.

Beta-Blockers

For those who are taking beta-blockers, then bananas should only be eaten in moderation.

A side effect of beta-blockers is that they can increase the level of potassium in the blood.

If someone has reduced kidney function, then their body may struggle to remove extra potassium.

As bananas contain potassium, then this may overload the kidneys when beta-blockers are added to the equation.

An excess of potassium can actually be fatal.

Bananas: Most Dangerous Fruit in the World

Final Thoughts

It may have come as a surprise to learn that bananas need to be washed.

The skins may harbor bacteria that can easily be transferred to the fruit when peeling or cutting the banana.

Bananas can also be a risk to health for some people.

They are best avoided by those who are allergic to them or suffer from migraines or anyone taking beta-blockers.

Stay safe, wash your banana!

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