The holiday season is here. Don’t sicken your family or guest with food poisoning.
Bagged salad can fuel the growth of food poisoning bugs like Salmonella and make them more dangerous.
Scientists said the moist environment combined with nutrients leaching out of chopped leaves created the perfect breeding ground for bacteria.
If you must buy bagged greens scientist advised people to eat bagged salad on the day they bought it.
Fresh green leaves and salad foods are often involved in food poisoning.
Studies have shown that salad can carry bacteria, but the research team showed the bag made things much worse.
The study showed sugars, proteins and minerals escaped from the cut leaves into the water in the bag.
Researcher Dr Primrose Freestone said “That’s a reasonable amount of nutrients if you’re a bacterium.”
The studies showed that Salmonella did especially well in bags containing spinach, while E. coli loved rocket(Arugula) leaves. Dr Freestone said “Juices that naturally leach from the leaves have the potential to increase the growth of any pathogen that might be present and establish them so strongly that washing wouldn’t be enough to eradicate them.”
“Buy the bag with the best sell-by date, avoid lots of mushed leaves and if it’s(the bag) is inflated don’t use it.”
A genetic analysis of the Salmonella showed they had gained the mutations that would help them to infect people. Dr Freestone said “We did see bacteria whose behavior had turned more to virulence.
Dr Jeri Barak, from the Food Research Institute at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, said: “It would be fair to conclude that if Salmonella is present in salads (and) it might grow to infectious doses.”
“Consumers should treat bagged salads as temperature sensitive food products, like milk and ice cream. keeping these foods in the refrigerator is important.”
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