As we told you earlier this month, sister pub Consumer Reports tested 208 bagged salads and found 39% had excessive bacteria, including fecal contamination. That means there’s poop in the greens. And now there’s something you can do about it.
Consumer Reports tested for total coliforms and other bacteria including enterococcus. According to industry experts, 10,000 or more colony forming units per gram (CFU/g) is excessive. The tests of 16 different brands had 39% exceeded that level for total coliforms, and 23% for enterococcus.
Hate spinach? Bacteria doesn’t. Many of the unacceptable packages contained spinach and were within 1-5 days of their use-by date. Bag vs clamshell, organic vs non, baby greens or no baby greens, made no difference. And packages that were 5-8 days until their use-by date fared better.
Even if the package says super-duper-washed, you should still wash them by hand. Or, better yet, just buy your salad elements separately, wash them, and chop them.
The big problem is the FDA hasn’t set limits for how much poop or other bacteria can be in bagged salad. Tell ’em to get crackin’ by signing this petition.