Prof. Jeff Farber was featured in Chatelaine on Jan. 4 talking about the best methods for cleaning fresh produce after a recent outbreak of E. coli was linked to romaine lettuce.
Farber, a microbiologist and food science professor, told Chatelaine that packaged, pre-washed lettuce at supermarkets is cleaned by manufacturers with water and sometimes disinfectants such as chlorine. He said there’s no need to wash it again at home and added that rewashing can sometimes lead to contamination if the produce contacts things such as meat in your sink.
Other potentially risky types of produce include raw sprouts and cantaloupe that can carry salmonella, and both should be carefully washed before eating, Farber said.
Farber worked at Health Canada as a research scientist for many years and helped develop many of Canada’s food safety policies. He is the director of the Canadian Research Institute for Food Safety at U of G.