Q. Do I have to wash my salad and leaf vegetables with a sterilising fluid such as Milton?
No. The risk associated with ready to eat fresh produce can be managed by thorough washing with potable water in appropriate washing facilities in the kitchen. Alternatively, prepared fresh produce can be used without further washing unless the supplier states that washing is required. You will need to demonstrate to your EHO that the facilities you have for washing ready-to-eat fresh produce are appropriate and managed so as to eliminate the risk of cross contamination.
Q. I have been told that I must use prepared vegetables rather than fresh vegetables. Is this correct?
This is not a general requirement but may be an appropriate control for a particular food business. Some establishments may be too small or may not have suitable washing or preparation facilities. Vegetables which require preparation may compromise food safety by cross contamination, e.g., peeling and washing potatoes. One option rather than limiting the menu would be to buy in prepared vegetables and eliminate the risk of soil contamination and the need for vegetable preparation sinks where space is at a premium.
Each food business will need to be assessed on a case by case basis. Food establishments must be of adequate size and layout and have sufficient equipment / facilities relative to the food business being carried on to ensure cross contamination is not an issue.