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Old 09-15-2006, 01:28 PM   #31
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Andy M.
Wasn't there some discussion a while ago about washing your greens in a weak chlorine bleach solution to make them safe?

I believe that would work with spinach and e coli.


The California Department of Health Services recently released guidelines for consumers regarding ready-to-eat, pre-washed bagged salads. Here are some tips:

Wash it if the product is not labeled "washed," "triple washed" or "ready-to-eat."

If lettuce or a leafy green salad is in a sealed bag or rigid plastic container labeled "washed," "triple washed" or "ready-to-eat," the product does not need additional washing, unless specifically directed on the label.

Further washing is not likely to enhance the safety of ready-to-eat leafy green salads or lettuce. In the unlikely event that harmful bacteria are present, they are likely to resist removal or inactivation by further washing.

There is a risk of contaminating ready-to-eat salads by dirty hands, sinks, colanders, pans and utensils, which may outweigh any benefit of additional washing.

If you decide to wash ready-to-eat lettuce and leafy green salads, you should:



Wash your hands thoroughly with soap and warm water for at least 20 seconds.

Clean the sink, colander, salad spinner and any utensils with hot, soapy water.

Use cold running water to wash the salad.

Dry the greens with a clean salad spinner or new paper towel.

Never use detergent or bleach to wash fresh vegetables.

Make sure the greens have been refrigerated.

Throw away any lettuce or salad if it has touched raw meat, poultry, seafood or their juices.
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Old 09-15-2006, 01:29 PM   #32
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Yes - I sort of remember that discussion as well.

However, folks should keep in mind that greens - any type of greens - can absorb water almost like a sponge (just like cut flowers), & whatever substance you wash them in can leave traces that you will consume. This is one reason why all those specialty "produce washes" haven't exactly "taken off".

If you're really that concerned about consuming greens (good grief - I really hope this episode doesn't stop people from eating ALL types of greens!!), then I'd advise you simple don't eat them for the time being rather than wash them in a bleach solution (unless you enjoy consuming bleach
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Old 09-15-2006, 01:32 PM   #33
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SuzyQ3 - you are an extremely welcome voice of common sense with regards to this most recent of many episodes in this country of produce/food-borne illness.
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Old 09-15-2006, 01:44 PM   #34
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Frozen chopped spinach is still the bargain it always was. Useable in many dishes and sautees. Looks like it will have a resurgance for a while.
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Old 09-15-2006, 01:49 PM   #35
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Quote:
Originally Posted by suzyQ3
From the Los Angeles Times this morning:

"For unknown reasons, the infections have been associated so far only with spinach that has been bagged, not unpackaged greens. That raises the possibility that contamination occurred either in fields dedicated to packaged spinach or during processing."

Do you have a link or source regarding fresh spinach, VB?
Hi Suzy
I work for a huge dining service corporation. Since we service everyone on the planet, practically (children, adults, seniors, infirm, military, prison) we have done a blanket rejection of all spinach. According to the FDA, the outbreaks are restricted to bagged spinach, like cello bags. But, because of the scope of people I service, we've taken a very broad approach.

More than likely, if you have bunched spinach, the kind that comes with the little wire wrap, it's probably safe to consume. However, I feel better, personally, taking a wait and see approach. Something that is progressing this quickly will probably be contained quickly so it won't be long before people can eat what they enjoy again.

Several years ago there was a similar outbreak among green onions. Until that sitiuation was contained, I also eliminated chives as well. I tend to err on the side of caution when it comes to food borne illness and intoxication.
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Old 09-15-2006, 01:51 PM   #36
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The News was referring to bagged spinach. Here is a link to a similar discussion:

Danger! Bagged Salads
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Old 09-15-2006, 02:09 PM   #37
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VeraBlue
Hi Suzy
I work for a huge dining service corporation. Since we service everyone on the planet, practically (children, adults, seniors, infirm, military, prison) we have done a blanket rejection of all spinach. According to the FDA, the outbreaks are restricted to bagged spinach, like cello bags. But, because of the scope of people I service, we've taken a very broad approach.

More than likely, if you have bunched spinach, the kind that comes with the little wire wrap, it's probably safe to consume. However, I feel better, personally, taking a wait and see approach. Something that is progressing this quickly will probably be contained quickly so it won't be long before people can eat what they enjoy again.

Several years ago there was a similar outbreak among green onions. Until that sitiuation was contained, I also eliminated chives as well. I tend to err on the side of caution when it comes to food borne illness and intoxication.
I would do the same in your position, VB. And I agree about erring on the side of caution. But I was just questioning your info about the outbreak going beyond bagged spinach and wondering whether that was actually stated in your government source, since the news outlets have specifically said that it's currently limited to the bagged stuff. If you have a link or a source that says otherwise, I would like to see it so that I can decide how cautious to be.
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Old 09-15-2006, 04:16 PM   #38
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No, Suzy, my information clearly states that for now, the outbreaks are limited to bagged spinach.
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Old 09-15-2006, 05:10 PM   #39
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Originally Posted by BreezyCooking
SuzyQ3 - you are an extremely welcome voice of common sense with regards to this most recent of many episodes in this country of produce/food-borne illness.
Aw, shucks.
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Old 09-15-2006, 07:45 PM   #40
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A tidbit from a recent news bite about this a few minutes ago:

"Washing won't get rid of the tenacious bug, though thorough cooking can kill it. . . .
Other bagged vegetables, including prepackaged salads, apparently are not affected."
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