Preparing home-cooked meals usually involves peeling, chopping, slicing, and rinsing vegetables. They’re everyday habits. However, according to experts, you might want to think twice before rinsing the following produce.
Read on to find out more.
Never Pre-Wash Pre-Washed Lettuce or Greens
Typically, we give lettuce and greens a quick rinse before cooking. However, experts say you should avoid washing any pre-packaged leafy greens with “triple washed” or “washed” on the labeling. They explain that if you re-wash them, they’ll be more susceptible to bacteria from your sink, cutting boards, colanders, bowls, etc. Essentially any surfaces they may come into contact with while being washed.
Processing Kitchens Follow Strict Hygiene
Even the most immaculate kitchen will not meet the cleanliness standards of the site where the pre-packages greens are processed. According to dietitian Neva Cochran, RDN, these “pre-washed” “ready-to-eat” greens are produced in a facility inspected by a government regulatory authority. So the hygiene standards are pretty high.
How Are Pre-Packaged Greens Treated?
Randy Worobo, Ph.D., advises that pre-washed greens are treated with water and a food-grade sanitizing agent. The food science professor explains that the mixture reduces and prevents bacteria from forming on the produce’s surface.
Never Wash Poultry or Meat Before Cooking It
CDC warns that washing raw meat, turkey, and chicken can spread germs to areas in your kitchen and onto other foods and potentially make you sick. In addition, the USDA advises that the current commercial washing techniques already include a thorough clean, so additional washing at home is an unnecessary risk.
You Can Still Wash Your Hands Before Prepping
In general, stick to the basics of washing your hands for at least 20 seconds using hot water and soap before handling food to prevent food contamination.