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    Bagged Pre-cut Pre-washed Veggies

    Posted on 11/09/06
    I love using bagged pre-cut, pre-washed veggies because it saves time (though probably not money) and pieces are cut to perfect precision. With recent health scares, however, I'm more cautious about how I use raw fruits and veggies in general. Here are some tips from the FDA and USDA (mostly pertaining to the spinach recall):

    1.) Do not to eat raw spinach or blends with date codes of October 1 or earlier that have been distributed by companies subject to recalls.

    2.) Eat all frozen or canned spinach and other types of leafy greens, as well as local fresh spinach from other regions, as they have not been implicated in this outbreak.

    3.) To maintain the quality of fresh produce, store all such food products in a refrigerator set to a temperature below 41 degrees.

    4.) Cooking fresh spinach at 160 degrees Fahrenheit for at least 15 seconds sanitizes the vegetable, even if E. coli was previously present.

    My advice? Even if it says pre-washed, I will wash the produce again. Also, for the moment I am only using bagged veggies for dishes that will be cooked. For things like salads, I'm sticking to fresh produce and cutting it myself. As always with any produce, wash it first. The truth is, fresh produce will save you time and give your dishes a more homemade feel. It might be more work, but it's worth it to cut and wash all of your produce (and it could even save your life!).
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