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Peterborough Public Health: Are bagged salads safe?

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14.01.2020

Who doesn't love the convenience of purchasing prepared salads or prewashed greens — I know I do. But recent outbreaks of human illness, including hospitalizations and deaths are raising concerns that perhaps these prepackaged and pre-washed salad greens pose too much of a health risk, and are best avoided. Are these products safe to eat? The excessive use of single use plastics is nowhere as visible as in the refrigerated produce section — could there be both environmental and health reasons to shun these products? Are there any steps we can take at home to reduce the associated risk?

Food handling basics suggest that a good place to start is at the kitchen sink: Current recommendations are to head directly to the sink from the grocery store or market, and take your fruits and vegetables with you. But will washing the newly purchased fruits and vegetables thoroughly under fresh, cool, running water really protect you when the food is lettuce or leafy greens? A 2017 study showed that high flows of tap water, at 8 litres/min, could mechanically remove much of the bacteria but........

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