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Rinsing pre-washed salads may introduce contaminants

August 29, 2016

As pre-packaged, pre-washed salads have made life a little easier for consumers, it also has raised an important question: To rinse or not to rinse?

Judy A. Harrison, professor and Extension foods specialist in UGA's College of Family and Consumer Sciences, told Refinery29 that rinsing pre-washed salads actually could do more harm than good.

"[Consumers] are more likely to contaminate the product in their kitchen than they are to remove any harmful microorganisms that had not already been removed by washing during processing," Harrison said.

In fact, salad safety starts with how the greens are grown, picked, packaged and transported.

"Once pathogens get on or inside produce, they are difficult—if not impossible—to eliminate," Harrison said.

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