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Old 06-29-2006, 05:05 PM   #1
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Danger! Bagged Salads

With the 4th coming up, thought I'd pass this along.

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/12536902/

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Old 06-29-2006, 05:13 PM   #2
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Mish - thanks for this, but keep in mind that this is one of MANY reports on the "dangers" of bagged salads that have surfaced since they first started taking $$$ away from regular lettuce producers.

Yes, you can probably get an e.coli infection from eating unwashed bagged salad, just like you can from eating any other unwashed vegetable. Personally, I don't take it very seriously, & only would if I were feeding children, elderly folks, or folks outside of my household. In those cases, as I always do, I superwash greens, don't make anything requiring raw egg products, yadayadayada. That's just common sense.

As far as the news sensationalism - all the more power to them. When my husband comes home after a 2-hour commute & I come in after a full day mucking the barn, working with the horses, weeding & working in the garden, the fact that I can just empty a bag of salad into a bowl & toss it with dressing far far outweighs the chance that I might end up with the "trots" because of possible e.coli.
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Old 06-29-2006, 05:21 PM   #3
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I'm usually not a nervous Nelly about things like this, but after reading the entire article, I may think twice - particularly the alarming rate of incidents in a short time -- 26 people in three states. If it saves a life, it's worth the post. I'm a bagged-salad buyer myself.
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Old 06-29-2006, 05:31 PM   #4
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Mish - don't get me wrong - I agree with you.

But the fact remains that if one doesn't wash their greens they're just as likely, if not more likely, to contract e.coli from a head of iceberg, romaine, or head of leaf lettuce.

If I was really concerned, I could still dump a bag of salad mix into my salad dryer, wash & dry it. It would take maybe, what, 5-10 minutes more tops? So if folks are concerned, by all means do that.

But don't think that the heads of lettuce you're buying are any less contaminated by e-coli than the bagged lettuces. No go guys.
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Old 06-29-2006, 06:19 PM   #5
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I wash all of it. There are too many things we can get sick by eating and I don't want to take more chances than absolutely necessary. I think we had a thread about this back a while.
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Old 06-30-2006, 10:57 AM   #6
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The problem isn't with the bags, the truth is that bagged salads are processed alongside head lettuce.

It has a great deal to do with the amount of care the farmer uses to actually grow the lettuce. I saw a similar TV report where they went into a field to test for e-coli and found one field infested with it and the heads had not even been picked yet, while other fields tested clean.

The biggest difference is in the way the consumer treats bagged lettuce over head lettuce. Head lettuce is usually carefully washed, while bagged lettuce is usually just poured in a bowl and tossed.

We buy bagged lettuce and salad kits all the time, but I thouroughly wash ALL my raw veg no matter what the source.

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Old 06-30-2006, 11:58 AM   #7
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At any given time there can be an outbreak of "something". They traced it, they recalled it, the problem will probably be addressed.
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Old 06-30-2006, 01:58 PM   #8
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How I wash my greens

I kinda vote for washing all things from the garden and forest. I have no experience with store bought salad greens and do not know if this method is feasible for those products. I mainly grow spinach and kale and have washed my greens with this method for 25 years, learning it from the local cooperative extensive service.

Draw water into a sink and add one or two drops of liquid dish detergent, swish your hand around to generate suds. Add the greens, fill sink to cover greens. Turn greens over and over to remove dirt. Drain water, draw more water into sink to cover greens, turn greens over and over. Drain and do the rinse one more time. So the greens are washed once and rinsed twice. I then run the greens through my salad spinner to dry them, put in a plastic bag and refrigerate. Items that are not dirty, like freshly gathered raspberries, I do not use soap. The soap really works well on dirt, just like it does for laundry.
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Old 06-30-2006, 03:57 PM   #9
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I just have returned from the doctor with some kind of infection!
She (the Dr.) gave me two shots, one last week when I walked in, and one a week later. She had asked me what I did different and I couldn't tell her anything other than playing my regular game of golf that last Monday...never heard these reports of Bagged Salad until now when one of my friends sent me an email about the situation!
I have to tell you I did not wash the bagged lettuce! I just didn't think about it because this is the first time I have purchased the product! I never, ever had bought bagged salad. I always prepare my own salad from the raw stuff I buy, wash and proceed. I just wasn't thinking! I figured it was ready to go.
I'm all better now and back to normal, with my regular golf game again on Monday.
The Dr. said maybe it was some chemical on the golf course because I told her they were spraying the grass to bring it back from the damage of the hurricanes, and so she assumed it was that. But it was the bagged salad indeed.
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Old 06-30-2006, 04:08 PM   #10
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I've bought the bagged salad, but washed it anyway - here's my thing - this probably will sound crazy, but I feel like it tastes a little like the bag it came in! Not that I tasted the bag, mind you, but maybe the smell of the plastic and the taste of the lettuce were similar? I've don't really order salad much if I eat out in diners or chain restaurants (which is not often) since I feel like their salads have that "I've been in a plastic bag for 5 days" taste, too. My husband and girls think I'm nuts.
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