Washing Spinach and Greens
Cooking tips for the caring cook.
Gorgeous Greens Should Be Clean!
- Chop greens first. Dirt and sand fall off more easily when pieces are small, especially if they are pieces of something as corrugated as spinach.
- Fill your sink or a large bowl with fresh, cold water.
- Add the greens and swish them around with your hands to dislodge grit and dirt, washing gently but thoroughly.
- Let the spinach or greens stand a few minutes so the dirt sinks to the bottom of the bowl or sink.
- Lift the spinach or greens from the water and spin dry in a salad spinner or blot with paper towels.
Did You Know?
Consumers buy more than 500 million pounds of pre-washed raw spinach each year. In 2006, there was a bad outbreak of E. coli poisoning in spinach from Natural Selection Food Brands out of California. As is so often the case these days, one large company put out products under several different names. For this instance, the names included Earthbound Farm, Dole, Green Harvest, Natural Selection Foods, Rave Spinach, Ready Pac and Trader Joe's.
So while pre-washed spinach - and lettuce for that matter - is a wonderful convenience, it can also be a hazard. In the above noted case, no amount of washing helped.
The illness caused by E. coli can be quite serious. When ingested, the bug can cause diarrhea, often with bloody stools. Most healthy adults can recover completely within a week, although some people - including the very young and old - can develop a form of kidney failure that often leads to death.
All in all, purchasing fresh spinach and other greens and washing it yourself may be the safest and most sure way to avoid this danger.
You may also find of interest...
- Tossing Salads
- Selecting and Storing Greens (Food Fitness)
- Lettuce: A Guide to the Healthiest Foliage on the Planet