askST: Is it safe to eat spinach leaves which have white spots on them?

Reader Yvette Ong said she noticed that tiny white spots are commonly found underneath the leaves of spinach sold here.

She asked if it would be safe to consume the spinach leaves.

Reporter Cheryl Teh got an answer from the Agri-Food & Veterinary Authority of Singapore (AVA).

An AVA spokesperson said that based on the photographs provided by the reader, the white spots on the spinach leaves are likely whitefly or scale insects.

These small white insects feed on vegetable sap and are not a risk to food safety if removed. They can be easily removed with thorough washing.

The AVA also advised that consumers should follow good food safety practices.

For example, soiled portions of vegetables should be removed, and the vegetables should be washed and soaked before eating or cooking.

Consumers can learn more good food safety practices by visiting the AVA website.


White spots seen on spinach leaves.  PHOTO: YVETTE ONG

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