Thursday, January 27, 2011


I am often asked whether washing ready-to-eat, that is, already washed salads will help to make them safer.

The experts - and the Food and Drug Administration, which is in charge of making sure that these kinds of foods are as safe as they can be - usually say it might, but then again, it might not. In other words, they don't come right out and say it helps. But they point out that it doesn't hurt either.

Let me explain this better. Ready-to-eat salads (in bags, plastic clamshell containers or other) are usually triple-washed by the distributor before they are sent to the store. It has been estimated that this will get rid of around 90-95% of any bacteria on the salad leaves (irradiation would get rid of an additional 5% or so). But notice - I said "on" - not "in." Research shows that some bacteria can get right inside the leaves. If so, washing prior to packaging, or washing in your own home won't get rid of them.

How about some cooked salad?


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