From The cRc: Checking Strawberries

In Kosher Updates, Newsletter Items by kosherqu

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The following are instructions from the cRc (Chicage Rabbinical Council) as to their most recent approved method of washing/checking strawberries for use by the Kosher consumer.  This method is suggested by the cRc based on their findings of a high occurrence of insects currently found in strawberries, making the previous method insufficient.  Until further notice, the cRc recommends the following method to clean strawberries from insects…

  1.  Cut off the green tops of the Strawberry (trying to avoid making a hole in the process).
  2. Soak and agitate the strawberries in soapy water (don not substitute with vegetable wash), using a concentrated solution of approximately one tablespoon of dishwashing liquid mixed together with no more than 8 cups of water.  This process should last for about 2 minutes.  The cRc suggests using Seventh Generation non-Fragrance Natural Dish Liquid Soap, as it leaves the least amount of “soapy aftertaste” on the strawberry.
  3. Rub each strawberry thoroughly under a stream of cold water with hand (or preferably with a bristled brush like a toothbrush).
  4. Soak and agitate the strawberries a second time for 2 minutes in new soapy water with the same ration as stated above.
  5. Rinse strawberries well.

Once all five steps have been done, the strawberries may be used without further inspection.  The cRc points out that this does NOT apply to organic strawberries, that are very difficult to properly clean and check for bugs, and therefore, should be avoided at this time.  If one wants to avoid this whole process of cleaning strawberries, one may simply cut off the tops and peel off the entire outside of the strawberry, followed by a rinse.