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Do you wash "triple-washed" baby-kale or bagged salad?

mike2401 Feb 14, 2013 09:12 AM

If I casually run some water over it, is it really likely to make it any cleaner?

I'm totally comfortable just tossing it in the pan with butter because I'm heating it.

However, this morning, I was in a rush and tossed some raw "triple washed" baby kale in my vitamix with some frozen peaches and heavy cream (yum).

Was I taking my life in my own hands?

Living on the edge in Philly,

  1. p
    pine time Feb 14, 2013 09:24 AM

    When they first were marketed, I didn't wash them at all--took the "pre-washed" advertisement at its word. Then noticed that many bags had a funky smell and/or texture, so began washing them thoroughly. During the wash, I also sometimes notice less-than-appetizing brown bits or slightly slimy bits, so I winnow those out, too, and I'm much happier with the final product. Doubt I'd die without the wash, but it's really a minor hassle, overall.

    1 Reply
    1. re: pine time
      rockandroller1 Feb 15, 2013 08:37 AM

      This is exactly why the period of time I bought bagged salad or greens was very short. Slimy, smelly, no thanks.

    2. Davwud Feb 14, 2013 09:29 AM

      ATK did a comparison of prewashed greens and found that if you open the bag and wash them off there's actually more bacteria on them then if you just use them.


      4 Replies
      1. re: Davwud
        mike2401 Feb 14, 2013 09:40 AM

        How exactly does that happen? Bacteria in tap water or unwashed hands washing?

        Please explain.


        1. re: mike2401
          Davwud Feb 14, 2013 09:59 AM

          I gave you all the information I have. It would be a question for them.

          You may want to read this though.


          1. re: Davwud
            mike2401 Feb 14, 2013 10:32 AM

            Thanks for the link. Basically, they are saying; "Your sink or cutting board may be dirtier than the lettuce."

            I didn't initially get the reference to ATK.

            I understand now.


          2. re: mike2401
            goodhealthgourmet Feb 14, 2013 08:09 PM


        2. juliejulez Feb 14, 2013 09:34 AM

          I usually only buy the organic 50/50 spring mix/baby spinach or full spinach in the plastic boxes but no I don't usually wash them. I haven't died (or even gotten sick) yet.

          1. l
            latindancer Feb 14, 2013 10:52 AM

            I'm sure it's just totally psychological for me. I wash everything, upside down and inside out...a total clean freak maniac. Another wash for a triple wash makes it even more clean. Go figure.

            1 Reply
            1. re: latindancer
              mike2401 Feb 14, 2013 11:15 AM

              Not trying to make you more germ phobic, but think about this:

              When people are given the advice to wash their hands, it is to use lots of soap and warm water for like 30 or 45 seconds.

              I think the way soap works (the regular kind, not anti-bacterial) is that the soap surrounds and binds to the dirt, and it washes off your hands.

              Now think about salad or kale:
              1) you are not adding soap.
              2)You are not using warm/hot water.
              3) You probably are not washing each leaf for 30 or 45 seconds.

              How exactly (and by what mechanism) does splashing some water get rid of bacteria?

              I wish they had do-it-yourself-at-home-irradiation, but they don't :-(


            2. a
              alwayshungrygal Feb 14, 2013 11:43 AM

              I didn't used to wsh bagged salad, but then there was an E-coli outbreak from bagged spinach. It was from a grower in Northern California. Ever since then, I wash everything, bagged or not. Does anyone still believe that bagged stuff is totally safe?

              I also like to rinse the bagged stuff just to refresh it a bit.

              7 Replies
              1. re: alwayshungrygal
                mike2401 Feb 14, 2013 11:57 AM

                not trying to make everyone crazy, but imaging you had an E-coli contaminated plate, and you just rinsed it under cold water: would you really be comfortable eating off it? And, that's a plate, which is non-porous. Imagine dropping a chicken breast onto an E-Coli contaminated sidewalk: would you be comfortable just rinsing it off without soap and lots of hot water?


                1. re: mike2401
                  ipsedixit Feb 14, 2013 09:56 PM

                  Wet E. coli is less dangerous than dry E. coli.

                  It's like you can't get pregnant if you do it standing up.

                  1. re: ipsedixit
                    ohmyyum Feb 15, 2013 11:28 AM

                    Bahhaahahahhahaha thanks for the laugh ipsedixit!

                    1. re: ohmyyum
                      EWSflash Feb 16, 2013 10:42 PM


                  2. re: mike2401
                    alwayshungrygal Feb 15, 2013 08:31 AM

                    Not sure what you are suggesting I do or this response is directed at me.

                    Obviously, if I knew I had E-coli on anything, it would be scrubbed to within an inch of it's life (if it actually had a life).

                    Life is full of what-ifs, you deal with your fears based on your experience. My BIL had food poisoning over 20 years ago and it affected the way my sister washes her dishes (uses a washcloth on the hand-cleaned stuff instead of a sponge, everything else in the dishwasher; the washcloth eventually goes into the laundry machine). She is less scrupulous about other kitchen safety things (leaving food out on the counter longer than I would). Most new mothers freak about food that falls to the floor, some experienced mothers use the 5 second rule.

                    EVeryone uses the information they are given in their own way and deals with the consequences, if any.

                    1. re: mike2401
                      mpjmph Feb 15, 2013 08:37 AM

                      Never mind that leafy greens can absorb e. coli while growing, so the bacteria may actually be in the cells and can't be washed off.

                      1. re: mpjmph
                        mike2401 Feb 15, 2013 07:14 PM

                        Funny you mention that. I've always wonder why if you visit Mexico, they say not to drink the water. However, you eat raw fruits and veggies that absorb the water.


                  3. alliegator Feb 15, 2013 08:27 AM

                    Anything bagged and labeled as washed does not get washed in my casa. The risk gives me a thrill! :p

                    1. BiscuitBoy Feb 15, 2013 08:44 AM

                      discussed in an old thread....The rinse and spin may get off any sand or dirt remaining (never found any) but I'm not sure it'll do anything to kill ecoli, which the "organic" types are more susceptible.

                      1. b
                        Bkeats Feb 15, 2013 09:49 AM



                        1 Reply
                        1. re: Bkeats
                          mike2401 Feb 15, 2013 10:41 AM

                          Great link, but YUCK !!!

                          I guess the real test would be to test a bag of greens, have the average person "wash" it, then test again.

                          I really suspect that the way most people wash greens, I doubt it would really get rid of any pathogens.


                        2. GIOny Feb 15, 2013 11:43 AM

                          I wash any and all lettuces and produce. If you want to take it a step further you can do a vinegar rinse on veggies and fruit.

                          1. free sample addict aka Tracy L Feb 16, 2013 07:04 PM

                            A friend of mine works for a company that makes the bags for the companies that have bagged, washed greens. From his experience he advises washing the greens.

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: free sample addict aka Tracy L
                              mike2401 Feb 16, 2013 07:12 PM

                              Having seen the most disgusting display of poor hygiene in a restaurant restroom this afternoon, I'm convinced that ANYTHING I prepare at home (from a bag or not) is way cleaner & better than the random stuff we eat at restaurants prepared by total strangers.


                            2. EWSflash Feb 16, 2013 10:41 PM

                              Yep. I. wash nearly everything like that.

                              I daresay you'll live through your unwashed kale, though.

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