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Do You Really Need to Wash Prewashed Lettuce?

A person washes lettuce.
Pj Aun/Shutterstock.com

You purchased a large bag of prewashed lettuce to speed up your weekly meal prep. Then, you recall hearing that you should probably wash it again, but is this advice correct?

The truth is no; you don’t need to rewash lettuce or any other produce that’s been prewashed. These items have already been washed prior to being packaged. There are two other reasons why you shouldn’t waste your time re-rinsing already cleaned fruits and veggies.

First, if bacteria or germs managed to survive the washing process at a facility, it’s unlikely you’ll be able to remove them at home. Washing is done on a commercial scale and often employs chlorinated water to ensure everything is killed. That’s not something you want to DIY at home.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention advises looking for options that have “ready-to-eat,” “triple-washed,” or “no washing necessary” on the package to ensure cleanliness.

The second reason, though, is that the kitchen is one of the dirtiest rooms in a home. Putting prewashed lettuce in a sink that’s probably dirtier than the produce can easily cause recontamination.

While it isn’t impossible to be exposed to illness via prewashed lettuce, the risk is exceedingly small. So, if you’re in a rush to throw together your salad for lunch, save yourself some time and skip washing the lettuce—it’s already clean.

Shea Simmons Shea Simmons
Shea Simmons is the Assignments Editor at LifeSavvy. Previously, she worked as a freelance writer with a focus on beauty and lifestyle content. Her work has appeared in Bustle, Allure, and Hello Giggles. Read Full Bio »
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