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Ask the Experts: Are Baby Carrots Safe?

Updated: Tuesday, December 3 2013, 02:20 PM EST

CINCINNATI (Liz Bonis) -- An e-mail going around on the web has a lot of people confused about the safety of baby carrots.

 Local 12's Liz Bonis asks the experts at Tri-Health about it in today's Medical Edge

.The e-mail came to me from Steve - who wanted to know if it should be shared. It suggests when you go to the grocery store you skip buying baby carrots. The e-mail states little carrots like these are rinsed in a solution that contains chlorine to keep them orange, so eating them isn't good for you.

So we took the e-mail, and Steves question, to Nancy Wilson. She is a registered dietitian who says don't give up eating the baby carrots just yet! Nancy Wilson says "The chlorine in the wash water is used as a disinfectant, so it helps to kill  any harmful bacteria that might be present on the carrots that are freshly cut  so it's really a health protective step, to help prevent a food-borne illness."You see, anytime produce is pre-cut the risk for illness goes up due to bacterial growth. "And that could come from the processing equipment that's used or human contact, any leftover salad, any leftover soil present on the freshly cut carrots, or even from the fluid in the carrots that cut that could cause bacterial growth as well." Wilson added.

But before you bypass the carrots Wilson says "Most of us don't get sick from eating fruits and vegetables rather we don't get the long term protective benefits from them; because we eat so few of them."

In fact the last survey from the nutrition and health examination survey, which looks at what people eat and compares it over a number of years, found the average person only eats about one and a half servings of fruits and vegetables - that's counting French fries and ice burg lettuce - we actually need about five to nine. 

Carrots provide Vitamin A Beta Carotene, they are very nutritious, great snack food, and great to eat so definitely would recommend continuing to eat carrots.

She would not suggest you share the e-mail with others unless you share this information also to clear up the carrot confusion.

We welcome your health questions for providers at Tri-Health -- just go to local12.com and click on ask the expert.

Ask the Experts: Are Baby Carrots Safe?


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