the dirt on prewashed lettuce

by Diane Lofshult on May 18, 2010

Food for Thought

A recent study by Consumer Reports found traces of bacteria in packages of salad greens, even in bags that claim to be “prewashed.” While these bacteria traces usually do not pose a health risk to most people, experts say that they are a sign that not enough is being done to ensure that the produce is as safe or clean as the package labels allege.

As a result of these findings, the nonprofit group that publishes Consumer Reports issued a report urging the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to enact stronger safety standards for greens.

To ensure safety and cleanliness, always wash greens before using—even those with labels that say “prewashed salad.” According to the package label on Arm & Hammer® baking soda, you can clean lettuce “naturally” using this pantry staple. To remove dirt from leafy produce, sprinkle baking soda into a bowl of water; add greens, agitate and rinse thoroughly.

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About the Author

Diane Lofshult

Diane Lofshult IDEA Author/Presenter

Diane Lofshult is an award-winning freelance author who specializes in nutrition and weight management topics. She is the founder of In Other Words, an editorial consulting firm based in Solana Beach, California. Reach her at