How to use bagged salad greens safely

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Pre-cut bagged salad greens are convenient, but is it clean and safe to use right out of the bag? What about storing the leftovers? Cynthia Sass, Nutrition Director of Prevention Magazine, shows you how to use and enjoy an easy, healthy packaged salad.

How to use bagged salad greens safely

How can we spot the freshest bagged salads at the store and then safely serve them and store them? Here are some tips to be safe:

  • Check the “best if used by” date, and of course, choose the one that is furthest from the date you buy it.
  • Look through the bag and check for wilted, spoiled or old salad greens, and don’t buy that bag. When you get them home, don’t wash them. They’re pre-washed and safe to eat. Washing them can actually make them break down faster and become more susceptible to bacterial growth.
  • If you have leftover salad greens, leave them in the bag they came in.
  • These bags are more high tech than they look; they’re specially designed to allow the perfect amount of oxygen and moisture into the bag to preserve the greens still in there.
  • Add some protein, some vegetables and a light dressing and you have a ready-to-eat meal in minutes, and you get the vegetables you need.
Transcript

Hi I'm Cynthia Sass, nutrition director at Prevention magazine. Did you know that most of us, in fact, 75% of us are not getting the minimum number of servings of vegetables we should per day. But, one vegetable that we are eating more of is greens that come in a bag. These are perfectly ready to eat. You don't have to do anything to them except open the bag and eat them. But when you're at the market there's a few things that you want to keep in mind before you put them in your cart.

The first thing is look for the “best if used by” date. They all have dates on them and of course you want to pick the date that is farthest from the date that you buy it. The next thing is to look through the bag--they're clear so you can see the greens on the inside. If any of them look wilted, or they look a little bit spoiled or old, don’t buy that particular bag. But, when you get them home, there's no need to wash them again. They’re already pre-washed and ready to eat and safe to eat. Actually washing them again can actually make them break down faster and be more susceptible to bacterial growth. Do don't wash them. And if you don't eat the while bag for some reason, you don't need to transfer them to another container. You can just leave them right in the bag. These bags are more high tech than they look; they’re actually specially designed to allow the perfect amount of moisture and oxygen in and out of the bag to preserve the greens that are left in there. So you can eat them again the next day. All you need to do is add some lean protein on top, maybe some more vegetables and a light dressing and you have a ready-to-eat meal in minutes, and you get your servings of vegetables. I'm Cynthia Sass with Prevention magazine.

meet theexpert
  • Cynthia Sass

    Cynthia Sass MPH, RD, Nutrition Director, Prevention Magazine Cynthia Sass, MPH, RD, is the Nutrition Director of Prevention, the #1 healthy lifestyle magazine brand and the 10th largest magazine in the country.
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