Washing Leafy Greens

Leafy greens need to be handled safely just like any other food. Start with washing your hands with soap and water. Cut away any damaged areas on the leaves or stems.

If the label on the leafy greens bag DOES NOT say “prewashed” or “ready to eat,” thoroughly wash the greens under running water just before chopping, cooking, or eating.

Washing greens in water

If the leafy greens label DOES say “prewashed” or “ready to eat,” use the greens without washing. If you wash leafy greens before storing, you can potentially promote bacterial growth and enhance spoilage.

Wash only what you intend to eat. After washing fresh greens, pat dry with paper towels or a fresh clean towel—or use a salad spinner—to help remove excess liquid. Never wash leafy greens with soap, detergent, or bleach because these can leave residues. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration does not recommend using commercial produce washes because these also may leave residues.

Source: Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, March 2018, (www.eatright.org/homefoodsafety/four-steps/wash/washing-leafy-greens)

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