How often do you rinse your “prewashed” salad mixes before lopping on some dressing and serving it on the dinner table? If your answer isn’t “every time”, you could be risking your health.
According to a recent study by Consumer Reports, you should always give your salad a good rinse before consumption, even if the package says it’s been prewashed or triple washed.
In their study of 208 containers of packaged greens, Consumer Reports found bacteria that “are common indicators of poor sanitation and fecal contamination—in some cases at rather high levels.”
Packages with higher levels of bacteria were the ones that contained spinach and were one to five days from their use-by date. Packages six to eight days from their use-by date were safer, and whether or not the greens were organic, came from a clamshell or bag, or included “baby” greens made no difference.
Stay safe by taking these precautions:
* Buy packages as far from their use-by date as you can find.
* Even if the bag says “prewashed” or “triple-washed,” wash the greens yourself. Rinsing won’t remove all bacteria but may remove residual soil.
* Prevent cross contamination by keeping greens away from raw meat. For more information, go to www.ConsumersUnion.org/safefood.