Despite being clearly labeled as ready-to-eat—and washed about three times beforehand—my store-bought greens always get a quick splash under the tap, just in case. But did you know that washing ready-to-eat greens could actually be doing more harm than good? An interesting article in Men's Health today says you should put your ready-to-eat greens straight from the bag onto your plate. Why? According to Sandria Godwin, Ph.D., consumer food safety researcher and professor in the College of Agriculture, Human and Natural Sciences at Tennessee State University, you can trust the label packaging this time.
In fact, the less you touch the salad the better. The ready-to-eat label indicates that the salad has been through rigorous testing and sanitizing before it was packaged. This means it was probably rinsed with a solution that contains "hydrogen peroxide or chlorine to kill bacteria already on the food and keep them from multiplying." So if you start touching the salad, Godwin says you could transfer harmful bacteria from your skin or your kitchen countertop and "increase your risk of ingesting bacteria or germs that lead to illness." Besides, that quick rinse we all insist upon isn't likely to get rid of the microbes anyway.
So what's the takeaway from all this? Ditch the rinse and eat your greens straight out of the bag.
To read more about ready-to-eat packaged greens, visit Men's Health.
Making a salad for lunch with ready-to-eat greens? Pour the contents straight onto this gorgeous plate below.
Will this stop you from washing your packaged salad greens? Or do you prefer to buy your lettuce from the farmer's market?