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.

Peanut butter, spinach, tomato and Chinese toy sandwich

Jon Stewart was poking fun at critics of President Obama’s stimulus package on The Daily Show last night, and came up with this quip:

Funding for regulatory agencies? Please. Now if you’ll excuse me, I have a peanut butter, spinach, tomato and Chinese toy sandwich to finish.

The line comes about 3:23 into this video.

Handwashing rates low in hospitals: report

In 2002, Jon Stewart quipped while hosting Saturday Night Live,

“If you think the 10 commandments being posted in a school is going to change behavior of children, then you think “Employees Must Wash Hands” is keeping the piss out of your happy meals. It’s not.”

Apparently the signs aren’t working in Ontario hospitals either.

Jim McCarter, the province’s auditor general, said in a report tabled in the provincial legislature that the results of a hand-hygiene program piloted in 10 hospitals revealed personnel were complying with the rules of good hand hygiene only 40 to 75 per cent of the time.

Time for new messages.