Bagged Salad

Inside the Law: How to handle 'ready-to-eat' salad

May 23, 2018 - 3:30 am

By Amy E. Feldman, Judge Technology Solutions​

PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) -- A Pennsylvania man who was mad there weren't enough cucumbers in his Wendy's fast food salad threatened to kill the Wendy's worker. 

Uh, dude, if it's a great salad you're looking for, maybe don't go to Wendy's. 

Maybe he liked the convenience, which is why they sell prebagged salad in the grocery store. 

But what do the terms "prewashed" or "ready to eat" on the label mean? And should you rewash it? 

The FDA requires produce be washed and disinfected but it doesn't have to be washed in spring water. It's usually washed in a mild chlorine wash and the label doesn't have to tell you the disinfectant used. It still has to meet safety standards, though, and the chlorine used is considered harmless. 

As to whether you should rewash it, experts are divided. While there are cases where prebagged salad wasn't properly disinfected, the far more common risk is that you and your dirty hands are more likely to contaminate it when you go to rewash it. 

So do what most of us do: get a hamburger instead.