Yes, you read it right, cleaning using soft water is better than hard water. Use it for washing fruits, vegetables, meats and even kitchen fixtures and utensils. For many of us, the thing is not necessary and we don’t even bother thinking about it. A clean tap water is enough.
For micro-scale to large food establishment washing with chlorinated water will do. It has a disinfectant effect that can kill most bacteria but may impart off-odor and off-flavor to food commodities. In any restaurant or fast foods, dishes with chlorine off-odor is a shame. It mean a loose of customers in the end.
According to studies, washing with soft water removes 37% more bacteria than washing with tap/hard water. If the first washing is not enough, wash it twice or thrice. This will cause you higher water bills but a least you attained a clean product free from chlorine taste and odor.
Hard water contains high concentrations of minerals like calcium, magnesium, sodium and chlorine. Capacity of water to adsorb microbes is reduce significantly because more water molecules are adhered to minerals. On the other hand, soft water is made by removing those minerals. This can be done through distillation or filtration. Soft water has stronger microbes adsorbing capacity and can remove more bacteria than hard version.
Using purified water as wash agent may not be feasible for home or large food processing plant. Buying purified water is very costly. But providing a small water purification facility or equipment will reduce the cost in the long run.
Cleaning with soft water was found to improved poultry carcass. It might improve other meat carcass too.