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Do you wash bagged lettuce/greens?

I do, even the ones that say they're triple washed and what not...

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  1. I do. I saw some TV show once where they had labs look for bacteria in bags of greens marked washed and triple washed, etc. and they all came back positive for bacteria. They concluded that no matter how often they are washed, if greens are placed in a sealed bag, bacteria will develop over a short period of time. So you should always wash your greens no matter what they say.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Fuser

      im lazy and dont washed bagged dole greens or any other bagged brand
      i do wash bagged spinach though

      i guess im a rebel without a cause

    2. all you need to do is wash them and place in a salad spinner and look atthe water that comes off the salad. You will always wash them after seeing the color of the water from this supposed "pre-washed" bag.

      Jfood always washes.

      2 Replies
      1. re: jfood

        I always wash bagged greens too, and wonder what on earth causes that scary greenish-blue water in the spinner. Could it be some sort of anti-bacterial wash??? I buy organic, BTW!

        1. re: Gio

          Then you get organic scary greenish-blue water in the spinner. Either way iut gets washed at casa jfood.

      2. Ever since the scare around here with e-coli & salmonella being found on the bagged stuff, I'm afraid of it & only buy loose greens. It's probably just as tainted, but I feel better.

        1. Always. Most of the recalls that occured in the past seem to have been the type that are bagged.

          1. when I am feeling lazy, & dont cut my own lettuce, and buy the bagged lettuce, I do wash it in cold water. Not so much to clean it, but to crisp it up & revitalize it in the cold water.

            1. for some reason, which has nothing to do with reality, I feel like it's OK for me to eat the leaves unwashed--like I have some kind of super bacteria destroying stomach--but never my son. If he is eating the greens I always wash them.
              Do you think it's the bag that keeps them fresh looking, or are the greens sprayed with some kind of preservative? fayefood.com

              1. I don't wash, but I'm a real live on the edge kind of gal when it comes to germies (leftovers, bagged greens, etc.) That's why I buy them in the bag...to keep from washing.

                2 Replies
                1. re: Janet from Richmond

                  In Puerto Vallarta US style bagged lettuce has printed on the bag a direction to wash and disinfect.

                  1. re: Janet from Richmond

                    I also like to live dangerously. If I wanted to wash my greens, then I wouldn't buy the pre-prepped ones. I do have one of those cast-iron stomachs, though!

                  2. If my bag says "washed and ready to eat", I eat.

                    1. I used to, and immediately fell in love with the OXO salad spinner: decent size, effective, etc. etc.

                      Lately, I've gotten pretty lazy. The bagged salad goes straight into the bowl *gasp*. I have not contracted any major illnesses or food poisoning by doing this (Germans have strong stomachs, perhaps that's why '-).

                      I've also gotten lazy with dressing. Instead of emulsifying a vinaigrette in a separate bowl, I've just poured the olive oil & vinegar straight on the salad. Tastes wonderful, and is the "least hassle" approach imo.

                      3 Replies
                      1. re: linguafood

                        The dressing made right in the salad bowl is the way to go. Just a sprinkle of S & P, then the oil and vinegar....sometimes I crumble blue cheese into the mix. Presto. Been doing that for years and others before me.

                        1. re: Gio

                          Ah, interesting you s&p first, and then add o & v. I do it the other way around, for the simple fear that the s&p won't adhere to dry salad....

                          I do like to make a variety of salad dressings & vinaigrettes, because I eat loads of salad -- but the tossing in the bowl is so easy and convincingly tasty.

                          1. re: linguafood

                            My thinking is - once everything is in the bowl, when mixed it will all be seasoned properly. But I don't use very much salt anyway and if some stays on the bottom, then that's OK.

                      2. I find a medicinally strong cocktail served alongside the salad serves to kill any germs.

                        1. Usually not, unless they are visibly dirty/gritty.

                          1. We were the wild and crazy sort that did not used to wash. But then we read an article (pretty sure it was the Globe and Mail newspaper) where they found that there were elevated bacteria levels. Plus, the wash that the greens received is a chlorine-based wash, so you end up getting some chlorine in there too. Don't ask me why I was somehow cool with bacteria but not cool with chlorine residue, but now they have a quick pit stop in the salad spinner.

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: JennaL

                              There is chlorine in your water as well....

                            2. Always, you never know what the handler, or picker was touching before it got to you.

                              Total Paranoia is total reality.

                              1. look through the pre packed greens. Somewhere in the middle are little slimy brown lettuce buggers hiding on good one. I grow all my own greens in the summer outside and still wash & spin 3 times and have a green house for winter lettuces.

                                1. I recently bought a Lotus Sanitizing System ( www.tersano.com) which uses ozonated water to disinfect. I don't think rinsing with palin waer really does much, and I don't like veggie washes....so this uses water that is supposed to b 3000X more effective than bleach:
                                  "The brand-new Lotus Sanitizing System safely washes and sanitizes your fruits and vegetables, neutralizing pesticides and germs quickly using natural, chemical-free ozone so they are safe for you and your family to eat. No more worrying about spinach E-Coli contamination! The water-based ozone created by the machine kills germs and eliminates pesticides on contact and won't foul your air. It's the same technology that many hospitals use to sterilize surgical equipment. The product also comes with a sprayer so you can use the ozone-powered water to wipe out mildew, mold, floor stains and other crud around the house!
                                  "
                                  Well, I've been really happy with it, and a little disturbed. I bought a beautiful, vvery clean looking cauliflower, rinsed it the way I normally would before steaming, and put it in the sanitizing bowl. It took two cycles before it was clean of all germs and pesticides ! That creeped me out.

                                  1. I go back and forth. The problem is, I'm the world's laziest person--or maybe not, but I hate washing my greens, so generally, I tend not to. I also don't have a salad spinner, b/c given my very limited kitchen storage space, I have a rule about buying anything that does only one thing (e.g. spins salad). So washing them means eating semi-soggy greens or wiping them down.

                                    However, I also don't like bugs in my salad. . . though I've noticed that washing doesn't nec. get rid of the most stubbornly clinging bugs.

                                    I get the organic pre-washed kind at the farmer's market, and although I know that I should still wash them (and sometimes I do), usually, my laziness takes over.

                                    If I'm having people over for dinner, though, and they are of the "washing greens" kind, then I wash them.

                                    1. I'm lazy and not paranoid (about some things anyway...) we buy bagged lettuce and spinach and since it says 'ready to eat' we eat it straight out of the bag unless it's limp enough to need a restorative soak. I used to wave it under the tap but it made the sandwiches soggy and I'm sure it wasn't REALLY doing any good!

                                      1. Having worked for two large producers of bagged greens, there are no preservatives added to the salads but they are washing in slightly chlorinated water which turns some people off with the smell. They last because the bags are specially formulated to let the produce respire after being picked, and customized for each type. There really is a science to it, not just any plain old plastic bags. The greens are live so there will always bacteria but unless you have a compromised immune system (and don't eat it old) it's not going to affect you. I hate those sensational news articles that make people live in fear--lemons, iced tea, salads, your purse, etc.--but apparently people buy into them which makes them do more. Either way, we don't need to eat sterilized food and I personally think we do more damage trying to live an anti-bacteria world. We do have immune systems for a reason. I don't like the taste of the bagged salads which is why I rarely use them but if I do, it's for convenience and if I were going to have to wash them, then I'd stick to non-packaged.