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The grocery store staple a food poisoning expert says he would never, ever eat


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Photo: Stocksy/Moreno De Carlos

As far as eat-at-your-own-peril foods, some things are pretty obvious. A text from a friend saying she has food poisoning is typically followed by another one blaming bad sushi or an oyster happy hour from the night before. Not so surprising, right? But chances are, there’s something in your fridge right now that’s nearly as risky.

Good magazine recently asked food poisoning expert Bill Marler (a lawyer who has worked on food-related sickness lawsuits for 25 years) which foods he would absolutely not touch. Some of his answers aren’t surprising—oysters, undercooked meat, and undercooked eggs are all on there.

The surprise? Marler says he also stays away from pre-washed fruits and vegetables too. “Convenience is great, but sometimes I think it isn’t worth the risk,” he says.

So why exactly is it better to wash your own produce? You’d think a pre-wash before it gets to you would be a plus, but Marler says that the more people handling food, the more risk there is of some bad bacteria sneaking its way in. And considering the recent recall of Dole pre-washed greens, his wariness isn’t unfounded.

So what’s a fruit- and veggie-loving girl to do? Just be sure to give your produce a good wash—especially if someone else supposedly did it for you.

As if that’s not enough to convince you to shop at your local farmers’ market instead, here are some other reasons—and how to get the most out of your trip