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Iceberg Lettuce

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How to clean:

1)     Preliminary Check - Check the produce for the presence of insects; focusing on heavy infestation of any type of insect or even light infestation of aphids. This preliminary check requires that the Mashgiach check each and every dry/unwashed head. The Mashgiach should open three leaves from the outside of the head of lettuce and inspect over a light box and check light box for infestation.*

  • If even a single aphid is found in a single head then that head of lettuce must not be used.
  • If 3 or more thrips are found then the head of lettuce must not be used. Special care should be taken to identify the presence of baby thrips.

2)     Prepare Iceberg Lettuce for Washing – Produce must be separated from the head. Remove core of from the center of the head.

3)     Prepare Checking Station - Add cold water and sufficient amount of food-grade soap or vegetable wash that contains a surfactant in the ingredients (for example FIT, Monster or Nature Clean) to a clean sink or container. The appropriate water to produce ratio is 3:1 (3 parts water to 1 part produce). The proper amount of vegetable wash/soap is when the soap suds are visible in the water.

4)     Soaking & Agitating - Place produce in water ensuring that the produce is completely submerged under water. Produce is then thoroughly but gently agitated. Produce should be agitated in the water for a minimum of 1 minute.

5)     Rinsing – Remove from water and rinse well under a strong stream of water (strong water pressure from the tap or spray hose is critical in ensuring the effectiveness of the rinse); rub the leaves gently while they are rinsed. Care must be taken to ensure that all crevices and folds are opened while rinsing. Rinse both sides/surfaces of the produce.

NOTE: Steps 2-5 can be performed by anyone who is approved by the mashgiach. Steps 6-8 must be performed by the mashgiach himself.

6)     Receptacle – Fill up a receptacle with fresh water. Place a small amount of Iceberg Lettuce into the fresh water such that the appropriate water to produce ratio is 3:1 (3 parts water to 1 part produce). Agitate well and slowly. Remove a small handful in the palm of your hand; or alternatively, use a “spider” (with large holes) to remove Iceberg Lettuce. Remove from the receptacle while shaking out the water from the produce; then place the leaves in a clean container. Repeat until the process has been done to all the leaves.

7)     Kosher Screen – Place a clean Kosher Screen in between 2 plastic white colanders (ensuring that the Kosher Screen covers the holes of the colanders) and pour the water from the receptacle through the colanders ensuring that all the water goes into the Kosher Screen. Rinse the receptacle with fresh water and empty the fresh water through the colanders. Let the water flow out completely through the Kosher Screen. Visually check both sides of the top colander to ensure that insects are not caught.

8)     Checking Kosher Screen – Place the Kosher Screen on the light box. Use a spray bottle to gently spray water on the Kosher Screen. This allows the debris to spread on the Kosher Screen allowing clearer visibility to see insects. Examine the Kosher Screen on the light box for the presence of insects.

  • If 1 or 2 thrips or mites are found then repeat steps 6-8 and re-check**.
  • If 3 or more thrips or mites are found then it has been demonstrated that washing was not performed properly and steps 1-8 must be repeated.
  • If an aphid is found then steps 1-8 must be repeated.
  • Produce may not be used if the Kosher Screen Method has been performed twice and insects are still found on the Kosher Screen.

9)     Leaf Sample Checking – 25 leaves must be checked for insects; both sides of the leaf must be checked and cracks and crevices must be opened. If any insects are found then the produce may not be used.

*This check should be conducted one day prior to intended use so that an establishment can return the produce to the supplier if it is found to be infested.

**If the washing was not performed in the presence of a Mashgiach then steps 1-8 must be repeated.

Type of insects found:

Aphids and thrips 

Where insects are found:

On the surface of the leaves, in folds and crevices

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