Wash those bagged salad greens a fourth time

February 5, 2010

In Consumer Reports’ latest look at food safety, the magazine purchased national brands of bagged and boxed salad greens and tested them. Their findings? Despite those labels promising that the lettuce is “triple-washed,” you’d better wash it all again to try to remove the unpleasant-sounding “fecal contamination.” And oh, yeah, organic wasn’t any cleaner than conventional — at least with regard to these microbes.

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1. by sarajane on Feb 5, 2010 at 6:45 PM PST

Re-washing the greens won’t do much. The amount of agitation required to actually remove the microbes would pretty much destroy the lettuce. Triple washed greens probably don’t have any residual soil, it’s more that coliform bacteria are ‘sticky’. I’ll agree it’s plenty gross that there are high levels of coliforms on the lettuce. But telling people to wash the lettuce is just a placebo. I think a better focus would be to look at the water that is being used in the fields. And to face the fact that, living on earth, we are going to be surrounded with coliforms 99.99999% of the time.

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