Are pre-packed salads safe in pregnancy?

Are there any risks with eating bagged and pre-washed salad when pregnant?

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In a nutshell

Yes, bagged salad is safe to eat.

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The expert view

Salads are fabulously healthy foods and are great in your diet, according to nutritionist Dr Rana Conway, but it is definitely worth giving them an extra wash, even if they say ready to eat on the bag.

“Washing salad leaves may seem like a hassle but don’t let it put you off eating them,” she says. “If you get a salad spinner it makes the job much easier.”

Concerns about bagged salads were raised following a Health Protection Agency investigation into an outbreak of salad-linked Cryptosporidium infections that affected around 300 people in England and Scotland in May 2012.

Although washing can’t get rid of all bacteria – and you’re not likely to be cooking your salad – it is worth giving it an extra rinse if you are worried.

The NHS also recommends ‘thoroughly washing all fruit and vegetables, including prepared salads’ before eating them.

Mums on our forum say

“I think you’re even supposed to wash prepared salad etc. I’ve never done it before and never had any problems so I’ve not bothered starting now.” – SUzMCh1

“I wash things like apples but not salad. Washed salad is disgusting and soggy, and I don’t eat it enough to have one of those salad spinner things! xxx” – gsmummy55

Read more about pregnancy food safety:

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