Does organic produce need to be washed?

Organic produce is so virtuous that UK writer Lucy Siegle had to ask, Does organic produce need to be washed?

“Health professionals are adamant that all fresh produce should be cleaned to remove potential pathogens. … Even produce sold as ‘pre-washed’ needs to be washed. … As organic produce has been annexed by big commercial enterprises, it is increasingly scrubbed up in huge pack houses that bring together produce from large numbers of farms for a good dousing.”

Siegle needs to research beyond the big ag conspiracy. A panel of scientists with expertise in microbial safety of fresh produce concluded in 2007 prewashed bagged salads should not be washed again at foodservice or at home.

"Leafy green salad in sealed bags labeled “washed” or “ready-to-eat” that are produced in a facility inspected by a regulatory authority and operated under cGMPs, does not need additional washing at the time of use unless specifically directed on the label. The panel also advised that additional washing of ready-to-eat green salads is not likely to enhance safety. The risk of cross contamination from food handlers and food contact surfaces used during washing may outweigh any safety benefit that further washing may confer."

Jon Stewart did a nice job trashing stereotypes of big ag, stem cells and that scientific discovery is planned – all at once. See about 1:48 minutes into the video below.