Monday, December 31, 2018

Washing prepared salad mixes not necessary

It doesn’t help to wash lettuce salads that come prepared and packaged, reports Ben Chapman, citing a research study.

Chapman is a food safety specialist who studied at the University of Guelph and now is an associate professor at  North Carolina State University at Raleigh and he doesn’t wash them.

“I’m following recommendations from a bunch of my food safety friends who reviewed the literature on cut, bagged, washed, ready-to-eat leafy greens from a few years ago,” Chapman writes on the Barfblog website.

In the abstract, they write:
“The panel concluded that leafy green salad in sealed bags labeled “washed” or “ready-to-eat” that are produced in a facility inspected by a regulatory authority and operated under cGMPs, does not need additional washing at the time of use unless specifically directed on the label.”

Chapman said leafy green food safety risks need to be addressed before they get to me; all I can do by washing it again is increase the chance I cross-contaminate the salad precursor in my home. 

“My purchasing choice is based in trust that growers, packers and processors know what they are doing, and do it. “But at best, they can only remove 90-99 per cent of what is there with a wash.

“And I can’t do any better,” he wrote.