Baby Carrots: Yummy – Not Deadly
If you’re like me, you have plenty of well-meaning friends and family members who grace your inbox with all the latest rumors, hoaxes and urban legends you can stand.
One particularly disturbing e-mail I received recently claims that baby carrots are soaked in “deadly carcinogenic chlorine” which causes a white chalky film to form when the carrots are left exposed to air or chilled in the refrigerator for awhile.
This is simply not true. Most commercially prepared produce is washed in chlorinated water at the processing facility. This chlorinated water is absolutely safe and all produce is washed again with clean water to remove most of the chlorine. The white film which develops is simply the top layer of cells on the carrots which have dried out in the air or the refrigerator. It is not dangerous in any way.
It is also completely safe to add a couple of drops of plain bleach to a quart of fresh water to wash your vegetables at home – just be sure to soak again in fresh water to remove the chlorine. In fact, that process may kill many of the foodborne illnesses which are much more dangerous than consuming trace amounts of chlorine. The amount of chlorine you ingest from vegetable washes is thousands of times less than you would ingest by swimming in a chlorinated pool.
Please visit snopes.com to check out any e-mail that you have questions about.