Why You Should Probably Wash Your “Pre-Washed” Greens

I love the convenience of pre-packed salad greens.

They’re washed and ready to go, making salad preparation quick and easy.

Unless, of course, you’re my mom.

She has always insisted on washing the bagged salad AGAIN before serving, even if it is “pre-washed” or “triple-washed.” I thought this seemed like a waste of her time– after all, they’re already washed!– but as it turns out, my mom was probably right.

As usual.

Most companies, according to standard industry practice, wash their packaged leafy greens (even the organic ones), in a diluted chlorine solution to prevent bacteria growth and contamination. While it’s intended for our general safety, I’m sure most of us aren’t thrilled to be consuming trace amounts of chlorine each time we eat a salad.

This is why most packages recommend a “final rinse”–> to eliminate any chlorine residue.

Perhaps I’ll try listening to my mom on this one.

If you want to avoid the chlorine all together, it seems that the only way to do that is either by growing your own produce, or talking with your local farmers at a market. Even local farmers have been known to use this chlorine rinse, so it’s always best to ask!

Reader Feedback: Do you use packaged lettuce, and did you know about the chlorine rinse? Are you motivated to start rinsing your produce?

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I use a Big Salad Spinner that you push down in the center. If they are small greens that is great. Then I transfer them to an even smaller salad spinner that has a pull cord on the side for an extra spin. Then I drain that excess water and leave the salad in that specific container and put I in the fridge immediately. The small amount of moister helps keep the salad/mix fresh and it doesn’t get limpy. If I am doing Romaine or any other large type leaf, I stand them up in the large spinner, without the top on it, and spin it slowly to take away the excess water. Then I stand them in a gallon bag and store it standing up the my fridge. My salads last a lot longer with this procedure.

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