7 Healthcast: Green Contaminants
Consumer reports tested more than 200 packages of salad greens 16 brands, including some of the biggest names in the produce aisle, all of the samples were within their "use by" dates.
The good news is none contained the dangerous bacteria E. coli, listeria or salmonella.
However, many packages did contain high levels of other bacteria that indicate poor sanitation and fecal contamination.
According to industry experts consulted by consumer reports, 39 percent of the samples had high levels of total coliforms and 23 percent had high levels of enterococcus.
The report says many of the dirtiest salads had a couple of things in common. They contained spinach and were close to their "use-by" dates, which is from one to five days. It made no difference whether the salad was in a bag or a plastic clamshell container.
Consumer Reports is not telling shoppers to avoid packaged salads. However, it recommends buying salads as far from their "use by" date as possible, and no matter what the bag says, wash it yourself!
Consumers Union, which publishes Consumer Reports, is calling for tighter FDA safety regulations on produce.
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