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What Does Triple Washed Salad Mean?

What is triple-washing?

Commercial triple-washing can take on a variety of formats. In general, though, it means that your greens have been harvested and then cleaned with a light, “pre-wash” at the farm. Following this, the leaves are typically moved to a processing site. They are then either manually or mechanically passed through two separate baths of liquid, dried, and packaged.

The bathing that these greens undergo is a vigorous process. Contrary to popular belief, however, it is NOT primarily intended to be a sanitizing measure. Rather, the triple wash is completed in order to dislodge debris from the lettuce leaves. Such debris might consist of soil, rocks, and insects or other organisms that become embedded in the crevasses and folds of the plants. This often happens as a result of items getting stirred up by heavy rain or farm activity.

In fact, when producers choose to additionally process their produce, such as during cutting and triple-washing, they expose food goods to opportunities for cross-contamination. Cross-contamination may occur from the extra contact with humans and new surfaces within the added steps. Therefore, the cleaning liquid that is used in commercial-scale washing of greens is often a sanitizing solution, consisting of one or more of the following compounds:Chlorine Dioxide (bleach), Sodium Hypochlorite (bleach), Hydrogen Peroxide, Peroxy Acetic Acid

These disinfectants help to reduce the risk of cross-contamination in the processing plant, while steps are taken to bath away the grit and other undesirables on the lettuce.


So, to reemphasize, the triple washing process means that the salad was washed primarily to reduce the grittiness of the lettuce, as well as to be able to market and sell a “ready to eat” product to consumers. Additionally, the liquid used for washing is NOT intended to sanitize produce or prevent food-borne illness, but rather it is applied in order to combat cross-contamination during this washing stage of processing.

FreshBox Farms’ Solution

Here at FreshBox Farms, we grow all of our greens using hydroponic technology in a clean and contaminant-free, indoor environment. This means that we grow without soil, and have no need (or desire!) to apply pesticides, fertilizers, or other nasty chemicals to your food. Our farm and team members adhere to the highest standards of sanitation, and ensure that our greens are incredibly clean from seedling to packaging.

Because our plants are cultivated in a soil-less environment, there is never any debris or “grit” that becomes incorporated into the ridges of the produce, unlike in traditional farming. As a result, there are no undesirables to wash off – only pure, good food – so we choose not to wash our lettuces. We feel that adding extra stages of processing before our clean product gets to you offers no added benefit, and only creates opportunities for cross-contamination from outside sources.

Fresh Box Farms

So, when you make The Thoughtful Choice and buy FreshBox Farms, you can always feel confident that you’re receiving good, wholesome food. Should you choose to wash our greens, please do so under cold running water in a sink that has been sanitized to avoid the risk of cross-contamination. And never soak or store the greens in water. Stay safe and enjoy that salad! To read the full article click here.

Share this article using #GrowMoreUsingLess and FreshBox Farms will donate $1 to Convoy of Hope, to advance their sustainable agriculture initiatives in support of the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goal #2 for food security.


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