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Ask Tufts Experts June 2016 Issue

Q. How safe are bagged or otherwise pre-packaged salad greens? Should these be washed before using?

A. Jeanne P. Goldberg, PhD, professor at the Friedman School and director of the Nutrition Communication Program, notes that the US Food and Drug Administration recommends against washing packaged produce items like mixed salad greens that are pre-washed and ready-to-eat. According to the FDA, "It is unlikely that consumer washing of such products will make the product cleaner compared to a commercial triple wash." Moreover, the agency warns, "It is possible that the additional handling may contaminate a product that was clean."

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