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Are shrink wrapped cucumbers safe to eat?

Are shrink wrapped cucumbers safe to eat?

Cucumbers must be one of the most expensive foods if we consider their calorie content, 16 kcals a cup. However there is more to nutrition than calorie content alone. Cucumbers as part of a mixed salad which has been dressed will have a surprisingly high calorie count. We now have a scare from people who have become ill from eating contaminated organically grown cucumbers. The advice is to wash throughly all salads. Perhaps people don't bother so much with cucumber as it is shrink wrapped.

The facts are that shrink wrapped cucmber last a lot longer than unwrapped cucumber Packaging News  I didn't know that and have thought that the reason the cucmbers are shrink wrapped is merely to protect them as their skins are easily damaged.  Whether people are less likely to wash shrink wrapped cucumber including other foods is debateable. I know I don't usually bother, and I have been unwrapping my cucumbers as well, but not always. According to the news item in packaging news it rots quicker if it is unwrapped. If I have unwrapped my cucumber I will usually wash it.

I usually soak salads in salt water first as well, but I often just eat lettuce unwashed. In fact I place lettuce in jars of water after cutting the root to expose fresh cells, it keeps longer. I just take leaves off as I need them. The technique works with celery and greens as well.

To get back to cucumber safety, perhaps there is a danger that bacteria can be sealed in with shrink wrapped cucumbers and people have not been washing them properly. There is also a greater risk with organically grown food as well.  Incidentally, after forgetting to eat my cucumber and having to add it to the compost bucket I tried cooking it the next time the cucumber looked as if it wouldn't keep. The first time I cooked cucumber was when I was making a casserole.  Cooked cucumber curiously stays quite firm and is quite delicious.

Posted on 31 May 2011 by Geoff Edwards

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