Most of us assume that raw peanuts in shell are safe to eat. A lot of information online and elsewhere is conflicting and confusing.
A lot of information online and elsewhere is conflicting and confusing.
Why would someone buy large quantities of raw peanuts, shell and all, only to toss them in the trash? Here’s the story.
The World Health Organization (WHO) and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) both classify peanuts as “possibly hazardous” if not handled properly. In 1997 the WHO put out its initial assessment of hazards related to consumption of raw peanuts. The key is dehulling.
Dehulling a peanut is very easy. All you need is a peanut crusher or a small grater, a plastic bag and some water. Break the peanut into a small bunch (preferably in a ziplock bag) and gently roll it between your hands. This action takes care of the shell, allowing the peanut to be soaked up with a generous amount of water.
The peanut remains moist but allows air to enter, thus removing it from the shell. Rinse the peanut in cold water, then drain it under running water.
Store the soaked, dehulled peanut in a plastic bag until ready to use. It will keep for many months, easily kept in the fridge, although it will turn brown over time.
During periods of salmonella epidemics, you may want to consume cooked peanuts if you’ve left them soaking for several hours or days. A salmonella outbreak has recently been associated with a peanut company in New Zealand.
The WHO has confirmed that cooking destroys salmonella. That would account for the risk of salmonella in cooked peanuts.