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Old 11-12-2009, 07:29 PM   #1
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Iceberg Lettuce Needs Washing?

Another novice cook here trying to become a low-carb chef. I've been eating lettuce leaves by plucking them from the iceberg lettuce that I buy from ShopRite. Does the iceberg lettuce need to be washed?
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Old 11-12-2009, 07:43 PM   #2
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Yes, I wash it. Here's a link with some info:
Washing Lettuce > Start Cooking
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Old 11-13-2009, 07:57 AM   #3
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You bet it does. Lettuce has been a carrier of e.coli in the past couple years - most likely the contamination came from field workers or processors at the plant - but you really DO need to wash it! It can also have residual fertilizer or insecticides too, unless you're buying organic.
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Old 11-15-2009, 04:24 PM   #4
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I always just broke the core by smacking it on the counter and twisting it off. Then I rinsed the head by pouring water into the center... BUT one day while I was doing that I felt tickling on my hand...

Tiny red specks were crawling on me, they were all inside the head! Every leaf!

It took me about 2 years before I would eat head lettuce again!

As far as e.coli, I think all raw foods are suspect. It's scary!
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Old 11-15-2009, 05:02 PM   #5
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I even wash bagged lettuce (which is supposed to be washed). When you open it up, you get that 'old green' smell. A quick run through the spinner and I'm happy.
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Old 11-15-2009, 06:48 PM   #6
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Back in the "good old days" (about 1980) I worked in sales for a company called SunHarvest which is now defunct - but we sold "shred" and "bagged salads" which were the first prewashed lettuce products and were pretty much sold exclusively to Burger King, McDonalds and the like. It came in 5 pound bags! Well anyway, we could walk downstairs to the shred plant and pick up a bag to take home if we wanted, and boy could you smell the chlorine bath they used to wash all that lettuce before it was bagged.

Not sure if that's what they still do or not but some brands have more of that fragrance than others. Trader Joe's stuff doesn't seem to have it, so if I'm buying prebagged salad that's where I get it.
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Old 11-16-2009, 01:58 AM   #7
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I wash my iceburg like Dianna said: hold head in palm of hand, core-side down, and smack it once or twice on the counter. Twist off core. Rinse inside of lettuce then drain core-side down so the water can run out. I wrap a few papertowels around it and store in a plastic bag in the fridge. Lettuce is much crisper after washing it and chilling it, too.
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Old 11-16-2009, 01:43 PM   #8
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I always wash ALL produce!

Charski, I know that smell in the bagged stuff and it's overwhelming. One of our local grocery stores also gives their seafood and fish the chlorine bath to rid the smell of bacteria on the fish
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