Chiquita Brands International said Friday that it is using a new wash on its bagged salads that better kills bacteria including E. coli and salmonella.
Chiquita (CQB) said it will longer use the industry standard wash of chlorine, which it said leaves some bacteria on the leaves. Instead it will use a mixture it calls FreshRinse. It has no chlorine and kills the bacteria both on the greens and in the wash water.
The new rinse is made with peroxyacetic acid, an organic peroxide, and lactic acid, which is found in some milk products. Both substances are already approved by regulators for use with food, so no additional approval is needed.
The company is applying for a patent for FreshRinse.
CEO Fernando Aguirre says the rinse dramatically improves food safety.
"Chlorine is the abacus, and FreshRinse is the iPad," he said at a news conference to announce the change.