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Steve C
CDC study says leafy greens are top food poisoning source - http://news.msn.com/science...
CDC study says leafy greens are top food poisoning source
"A big government study has fingered leafy greens like lettuce and spinach as the leading source of food poisoning, a perhaps uncomfortable conclusion for health officials who want us to eat our vegetables. "Most meals are safe," said Dr. Patricia Griffin, a government researcher and one of the study's authors who said the finding shouldn't discourage people from eating produce. Experts repeated often-heard advice: Be sure to wash those foods or cook them thoroughly. While more people may have gotten sick from plants, more died from contaminated poultry, the study also found. The results were released Tuesday by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention." - Steve C from Bookmarklet
So, lettuce will make you sick, but chicken kills. - Jennifer Dittrich
I think I'll stick to bread, chocolate, and coffee. >.> - John (bird whisperer)
Allergic to bread, don't like coffee. I'll stick with chocolate diet. - Steve C
It's a good idea to actually wash leafy greens. - Rodfather
I am bad about washing my leafy greens before smoothing them. - Brian Johns
I've recently been making an effort to eat lots of spinach, because I'm terrible about getting enough of the green leafy veggies that are so highly recommended. But I do take the precaution of washing them. I don't think that's necessarily full-fledged protection, though. If lettuce and spinach are contaminated while still growing, the contaminants can be inside the leaves. I believe that was the case a few years ago when all of the spinach-related e-coli was happening. They traced the contamination to run-off from adjacent cattle pastureland, and the water run-off from that covered and contaminated the young spinach plants. Washing them wasn't enough to remove the risk. - Jkram|ɯɐɹʞſ
e. coli doesn't grow into the middle of a lettuce or spinach leaf. The bacteria binds to the plant fibers in the same way it binds to the inside of the intestines. This is why simply rinsing with water or giving a light scrub won't get rid of them. You have to either soak your vegetables in a chlorine-water or soap-water solution (which still only gets most of the bacteria) or cook them past the kill temperature for e. coli. (or peel if your veggie is of the peeled variety) - Hookuh Tinypants
Tinypants, do you have any links that explain more about that? This is the first I've heard of them binding. When I Google, I get more general "wash your hands" kinds of links. - Spidra Webster
Joe, exactly! greens poison you because they irrigate them with infected cowshit! Infuriates vegetarian-me! And Tinypants, can you say more? There's no way on earth I'll be washing my greens with chlorine, do you know of other options? - RudĩϐЯaЯïan
"Scientific studies have demonstrated that washing produce in cold, chlorinated water may reduce microbial populations but not eliminate them. Microbial reduction on leafy greens surfaces is a disinfectant concentration-by-time dependent relationship. Human pathogens, if present on the surface of leafy greens, may not be completely eliminated by washing. This is because microorganisms adhere to the surface of produce and may be present in nooks and crannies where water and wash water disinfectants cannot penetrate. Microorganisms, including human pathogens, have a greater affinity to adhere to cut surfaces than uncut surfaces." http://www.fda.gov/Food... - Victor Ganata
It looks like most fresh cut greens sold in stores are washed with chlorine anyway, and it's no guarantee: "Fresh-cut leafy greens go through one or more vigorous washing processes before they are packaged and sold to consumers. Wash water disinfectants can be very effective in eliminating free-floating or exposed microorganisms. However, chlorine and other wash water disinfectants are used in wash systems to prevent the potential for cross contamination, not to sanitize produce surfaces. Washing RTE leafy greens during fresh-cut processing is necessary but does not ensure that fresh-cut produce is free of microbes." - Victor Ganata
Wouldn't it be nice if they actually linked the study they're talking about? Or at least give the title of the study? If it's from the CDC, it should be publicly accessible, no? - Victor Ganata
It could be this one: http://www.cdc.gov/nceh... - Shevonne
Yeah, I saw that link, but it looks like the study protocol, and doesn't have any results. - Victor Ganata
When the spinach-lined e. coli outbreak was going on, some recommended a wash using a water-vinegar mix, but I've heard other sources say that doesn't help much either. I guess if chlorine doesn't do it, not much will short of irradiation. - Jkram|ɯɐɹʞſ
Cooking it will kill most bacteria and viruses. - Victor Ganata from iPhone
Cooking is bad for salads.... :P - RudĩϐЯaЯïan
Again, though, I think this is further evidence to avoid agribusiness entirely. Buy from small farmers, who know & care about where their irrigation comes from - RudĩϐЯaЯïan
It is dose dependent, though. If you kill or wash off the worst of the contamination, it's possible your immune system can take out the rest of it. Sure, it's playing Russian roulette with your gastrointestinal tract, but there's not too much you can do if you want a salad. - Victor Ganata from iPhone
You could probably find information through Google or Google Scholar. I myself learned this information through school years ago. It was part of a greater discussion regarding organic and dynamic farming and the use of fresh manure for fertilizer - which doesn't present an issue unless you have one or more infected livestock. Small farms are no less susceptible to contamination than big farms are. The e. coli can also come from human waste. The best we can hope for is caution on the part of the farmer and his workers, keeping any livestock healthy and providing workers with restrooms and the ability to take restroom breaks without fear of punishment for the lost time. Personally I'm OK with giving my stuff a wash and going for it. It is the risk we take eating raw vegetables and fruits. As long as what I'm eating is pesticide free, I'll take my chances with the residual e. coli. - Hookuh Tinypants
A lot of lettuce and spinach are grown in my area. There's usually zero livestock. It's just vast fields of the same product growing in the same area. A lot of factors can go into it. Like one bad head of lettuce could contaminate many bags of prepackaged salad. - Rodfather
Rodfather, hopefully that's an indication that changes were made after the e. coli outbreak several years ago. In that specific case there was a livestock pen/pasture on higher ground adjacent to a a field where spinach was grown. Heavy rains washed the manure down into a pond in the spinach field and the flooded pond contaminated the spinach crop. And you're right, a batch of contaminated produce from a limited area can contaminate a lot of the prepackaged/chopped stuff, which in turn can get distributed far and wide. - Jkram|ɯɐɹʞſ