Why You Shouldn't Wash Pre-Washed Produce

Cooking always sounds really romantic when you're discussing it — making big pasta dishes with ripe tomatoes, sautéing vegetables, and creating dazzling sauces to go with tender chicken or beef. It all sounds very fun and creative, but sometimes cooking can be a bit more time-consuming than we'd like, though that hasn't stopped us before. Between the preparation of the produce, cutting things up, making the meal, and the cleanup, putting together your next entree can transform into a huge process. 

So, we're always pretty happy to learn about any shortcuts that can help us skip any unnecessary steps. For instance, washing produce can be a bit of chore that involves taking all your veggies and fruits over to the sink, making sure to dry everything off, and then the result is usually a super wet countertop. Thankfully, not every single type of produce has to go through this tedious process. 

Pre-washed produce means it's already been washed

Much as the name implies, pre-washed produce has already been washed before it's placed into the bag or container that it's placed into. The bags are sanitized, so the produce is going into a clean area and is ready to be cooked straight out of the fridge. Food Network tells us to actually not wash pre-washed produce at all. They say "if you do wash the produce, you actually have a greater chance of contaminating it because you'll take it into multiple spots around your kitchen — including a splashy sink." 

So, you're better off trusting that the company that sold the produce already washed it and placed it into clean bags. And you should trust them, the Food Network writes that "the guidelines used in the packaging facilities are extremely stringent" to ensure that the produce is sanitized and won't have any contaminants. Which is great news if you hate washing produce — just try to find bags of produce that are pre-washed and you can skip a step in your cooking process.