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Feb 12, 2010 01:09 PM

Pre-sliced Crimini mushrooms-are they washed?

I needed crimini mushrooms. My store only had the pre-sliced ones. Usually it will say on the package if they are washed and ready to use. This package does not. I asked the produce guy and he didn't know. He guess since they were sliced that they were washed. But wasn't sure. What a pain to wash sliced mushrooms! What do you think? Thanks.

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  1. When you dump them out you'll know if there is any compost dirt in the container

    1. Some advocate that just because a package says something is washed, it's best to err on the side of caution and wash anyway, and they're easy enough to wash - just drop them into a medium size bowl of water, give them a shake with you hand, then lift them straight out with your fingers kind of open so the water & any debris stays behind in the bowl. I usually drop them from my hands right into the pan, pot, or whatever I'm cooking them in.

      1. I've never washed a mushroom in my life! I regularly buy the pre-sliced criminis, and have found very little dirt on them. What is there easily brushes away with a towel.

        1 Reply
        1. re: JenJeninCT

          Me too, Jen. I look them over and dust off any that look like they might not be entirely clean (using a towel and a light dusting motion) but I don't ordinarily wash mushrooms. If you're going to wash mushrooms, do it quickly with a rinse method (colander or a swish in a bowl and quickly lifting out as casinada suggested) and then get them directly into the dish before they begin to discolor. If you have to hold them for any length of time, wrap them in absorbent material (paper towels, etc.) to hopefully suspend discoloration of the outer skin surface.

        2. pre-sliced? someone had their hands all over them. they weren't washed. wash them and call it a day. contrary to popular belief, running some water over mushrooms to get that faint dust off of them does not make them turn into water-logged sponges.

          you should always consider the extra handling involved with items like "pre-sliced" if you're concerned about food safety, or price, or what you put in your face. if you're paying someone else to do some simple work for you, there's a possibility that they aren't taking the same precautions that you might, and, they're charging you for the privilege.

          wash produce. it could have dirt or bugs. it's really that simple.

          7 Replies
          1. re: tommy

            Agree 1000%. I am always pulling pre-sliced, pre-peeled packages out of my boyfriend's hands at the grocery store. I'll take care of the prep work.

            Plus - we all know what they grow mushrooms in, right?

            1. re: Snorkelvik

              if you're suggesting that mushrooms from the supermarket grow in feces, then you're mistaken, and that's probably another data point supporting people rinsing what they don't understand. just in case.

              1. re: tommy

                From the Oregon State University Extension Service
                "The recipe for mushroom compost varies from company to company, but can include composted wheat or rye straw, peat moss, used horse bedding straw, chicken manure, cottonseed or canola meal, grape crushings from wineries, soybean meal, potash, gypsum, urea, ammonium nitrate and lime."

                "the urea, cottonseed meal and chicken manure provide most of the nutrients."

                So certainly feces is a significant part of the mix. Like any compost, the pile will reach temperatures of 160* F killing any pathogens. It is then pasteurized at 140* F so it's not harmful but to say no feces, okay call it manure, is involved is not the case.

                1. re: scubadoo97

                  Yes, compost can come in many forms. However, I'd still question if the mushrooms that people buy at the supermarket are actually grown in anything containing feces. I don't even think they grow them in any dirt at all!

                  1. re: tommy

                    Tommy that was from the Oregon State University Extension Service. If you ever saw the episode of Dirty Jobs with Mike Rowe on mushrooms there is clear and frequent reference to "poo".

                    I don't buy the sliced one and I can tell you without a doubt that the criminis I buy at the supermarket are some of the dirtiest mushrooms I buy. They are full of compost "dirt". I don't see this on the white button ones but the criminis are dirty.

                    1. re: scubadoo97

                      i call that stuff in the bottom of the carton "magic mushroom dust". it's not really gritty compared to, say, what you find in a leek.

                      i wash mushrooms, but not because i think they have crap on them. but because i wash things i eat (except for chicken, which i don't always rinse). i think we agree that a little rinse of the mushrooms is the way to go.

                      love "Dirty Jobs", but don't watch it often enough.

            2. re: tommy

              Most produce, yes, wash. Definitely, for pesticides and the like. those above, I've never washed a mushroom (at least not one that was going to be cooked). It just isn't necessary. I brush the schmutz off of them and that's it. That's all you need to do, at least if they're getting cooked. The only time I would even consider rinsing is on those _extremely_ rare occasions where I eat them raw.

            3. I always wonder what people think they will wash off that might hurt them if they didn't do it. If you rinse them in water, what would come off in the water that would make a difference? If there's a lttle compost, its not going to hurt you. If someone touched them with their hands, their touch is not gonna wash off with water.

              1 Reply
              1. re: Rhee

                i'd rather not wonder and just give them a quick rinse.

                as far as greens, if you want to eat what is in those pre-washed bags, i would suggest you give the bag the sniff test.

                there's no compost in mushrooms. i don't even think they grow them in dirt these days. but again, if you don't mind peoples' fingers and whatever comes along with extra processing, by all means don't rinse anything. to my mind, it's better to be close and personal with what you're putting in your face. a quick rinse and inspection is, without a doubt, the better approach. not debatable to my mind.