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Old December 7th, 2009, 11:12 PM
SlackerTim SlackerTim is offline
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Do you need to wash "pre-washed" spinach?

If you buy pre-washed or triple-washed spinach, do you recommend washing it again yourself before eating?
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Old December 7th, 2009, 11:26 PM
teamleader teamleader is offline
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Why would you?
Why would you not?
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Old December 8th, 2009, 12:14 AM
DPN DPN is offline
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I don't

I eat it raw quite often too...

But if it makes you feel better or more confident it's safe, why not wash it?

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Old December 8th, 2009, 10:26 AM
greggo greggo is offline
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Dr. Linda Harris and Dr. Christine Bruhn, Food Safety Specialists for the University of California Cooperative Extension, give this advice:
  • If you purchase sealed bagged lettuce (or other salad greens) from a reputable processor, there is no need to wash it if it is kept refrigerated and used by the “use-by” date. In fact, washing could accidentally contaminate a high quality product.
  • If you purchase pre-washed lettuce from an open bulk container, definitely wash it.
  • If you purchase regular (not pre-washed) lettuce, definitely wash it.
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Old December 8th, 2009, 10:33 PM
Georgie Fear 1 Georgie Fear 1 is offline
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Even pre-washed lettuces and spinach have been linked to a number or foodborne illness outbreaks. If you want to be on the safe side and are eating it raw, washing it again can't hurt.
Do you NEED to? Of course that's a rather subjective question.

Do I? Not usually.

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Old December 8th, 2009, 11:02 PM
greggo greggo is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gfear View Post
Even pre-washed lettuces and spinach have been linked to a number or foodborne illness outbreaks. If you want to be on the safe side and are eating it raw, washing it again can't hurt.
The trouble is that a cold water rinse does a fine job of removing dust, dirt, and sand, but may not do an adequate job of removing or killing microbes.

From a USA Today article titled Tainted spinach: All bacteria may not come out in the wash:
Quote:
Bagged 'is safer'

While Doyle won't eat packaged lettuce or spinach, Christine Bruhn, director of the Center for Consumer Research at the University of California, Davis, says "the bagged product is safer" than its home-washed, unpackaged counterpart.

Given previous E. coli outbreaks in lettuce, California officials earlier this year convened a panel of food safety and industry experts to re-evaluate whether packaged lettuce and leafy greens should be rewashed before being eaten.
The panel decided no, as long as the product was labeled "washed," "triple washed" or "ready-to-eat" and came from a government inspected facility.

Bruhn, a panel member, says rewashing may increase risk because consumers are unlikely to sanitize hands, nails, sinks and utensils. That requires a good cleansing and chlorinated water rinse. "Most consumers are quite casual," Bruhn says.

While no produce is guaranteed 100% free of bacteria, cooked, canned or frozen produce comes closer than raw, Bruhn says. If you eat raw lettuce or spinach, you take a risk, she adds. "But it is a small risk. The industry does a superb job of washing."
Personally, I use the pre-washed spinach straight from the bag and handle it with salad tongs that have been run through the dishwasher. That's about as good as I can hope for.
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