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How to Cut Pineapples and Food Safety Thoughts

This is not a recipe or detailed nutrition article, but, it’s definitely practical. Pineapples are in season. A cup has 2 grams of fiber and provides more than 100% of the daily value of vitamin C. They are juicy, sweet, and cool. Who doesn’t like pineapples?

The problem for many of us might be the cutting. Oh yeah, you have good intentions about cutting up this fruit when you see it beautifully and temptingly sitting in your grocer. You bring it home, get lazy, forget about it, and the reasons go on.

I’m not going to suggest buying chopped pineapple. They are more expensive, plus you are using plastic packaging you can skip to save the environment (Earth Day was only few days ago!).

Keep in a visible place on your counter top. Wait until the skin turns more yellow than green, but don’t wait too long because it can rot in 4 or 5 days. When you’re ready to make dinner, lunch, or anything else, tag cutting up your pineapple along.

Personally, give me a sharp chef knife and a large cutting board, and I’ll chop, slice, or cut anything (although I’m looking for a food processor–do you recommend one?). There are pineapple corers in the market though and they seem to have good reviews. Here’s how I do it:

Cut off the top

Cut off the skin. Start by a thin layer so you reserve as much of the fruit then cut out any rough parts of the skin left. Then wash the cutting board and knife before you move on. You might introduce any germs from the out to the inside of the fruit.

Cut the pineapple lengthwise in half. Cut each side into four long strips

Take out the dry core

Chop as thick or thin as you like. I keep them thick so they are easier to eat for a snack, and if I need to use them for cooking or give them to my son, I can cut them smaller later. Keep refrigerated.

Aren't fruits just so yummy?

Speaking of food safety, I recently read a post by fellow RD and blogger (the Candid RD)  Gina about refrigerator safety and we all need to know the information she has. How much do you pay attention to refrigerator and food safety in your kitchen?

And…

Is it just me being picky or do some of the Food Network chefs need some food safety training? I was watching Giada De Laurentiis and Ina Garten (Barefoot Contessa) the other day, and they both touched raw meat or eggs, then the oil or wine bottle, then the spatula without washing their hands. It was a one shot continuous scene–they didn’t cut and edit so the chef can wash her hands! Food contamination alert! I mean, this is the first thing we learn in food preparation class: “separate, don’t contaminate!” I ALWAYS wash my hands after touching any raw mean, chicken, or fish and before touching anything else. What do you do?

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{ 3 comments… add one }
  • eatingRD April 28, 2010, 11:45 pm

    mmm that looks so refreshing! I can’t wait for strawberry season to start. I can’t have too much pineapple or else my throat gets scratchy, but I still love it! I have to agree with you and the food network. They rarely wash their hands and when they do, it’s only for 4 seconds and they barely even lather. My hands always seem to be dry after cooking since I wash them so much!

  • Nicole, RD April 29, 2010, 6:02 pm

    I chuckled reading this. I learned how to PROPERLY cut a pineapple, as you showed, during my dietetic internship. When I was asked to create a fruit platter for a catering event, I started going at this pineapple in some CRAZY way. My preceptor stopped me and showed me this method. WAY easier and you get a lot more yield! A lot of people don’t know how to cut a pineapple, though, and so they don’t buy them!

  • Nour El-Zibdeh, RD April 29, 2010, 9:39 pm

    Thank you Kristin for stopping by. We’ve had some good strawberries so far this season. I’m glad to see other RDs agree with me about hand washing. They even on TV use the same cutting board for meat and veggies. Maybe it’s a different one or they wash it and we don’t know. But they need to make a note of it.

    Thanks Nicole! LOL. I hesitated before I sent this out since I didn’t think it’s a “real” blog post. But now that I know it made someone happy, it’s worth it. Don’t you just miss the internship days?? (year, right!)

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