Ask Niki: Mushrooms
Q: "My husband says you should wash mushrooms as they have dirt on them, but I always thought they went soggy if you wash them. What's the story?"Paulette Robinson
A: This is an interesting question. I usually just brush or wipe my mushrooms before chopping and cooking, but I thought I had better ask the experts!
Mushroom growers Meadow Mushrooms agree with Paulette and me – they recommend simply wiping the mushrooms with a paper towel before cooking. Roger Cook, microbiologist at the New Zealand Food Safety Authority has this to say on the subject: "Mushrooms can be cleaned gently with a damp cloth or a soft-bristle mushroom brush. You can also rinse them under fresh, running water and pat dry with a paper towel. Pay special attention to the underside of the mushroom, because the flesh under the mushroom cap can easily store bacteria and viruses (this is likely to be less of a concern in cultured mushrooms than in wild field mushrooms)."