A new recall in September of 8,000 cases of Hearts of Romaine salad has consumers worried once again about bagged salad. I asked Jody Victor to tell us more about it.
A new recall in September of 8,000 cases of Hearts of Romaine salad has consumers worried once again about bagged salad. Listeria was the problem that forced this recall. Other top producers have since pulled their bagged lettuce off the shelves for evaluation. No illnesses have been tied to the voluntary recalls. Food safety experts get asked all the time- which is better, bagged lettuce or bulk?
Doug Powell, a professor of food safety at Kansas State University, says, ?We call it faith-based food safety.? He and other researchers in food science and technology say that while consuming any lettuce is a gamble, they place their bets on the bagged varieties. Even the crisp heads of lettuce from a farmer?s market can be unsafe as you do not know how long they have been sitting in water with soil still on them. They believe that the professionals do the best job of anyone cleaning the product, washing it thoroughly in chlorinated water. They also believe that the professionals have a big stake in safety and a bigger incentive to get it right.
Here are some steps you can take to ensure the safety of your bagged salads:
- Buy bagged salad as far away from its expiration date as possible.
- Choose bagged salad only from a very cold refrigerator in the grocery store.
- Wash your hands and sink before washing the bagged salad again at home.
- Place bagged greens in a clean colander and rinse thoroughly.
- Shake greens well in colander to drain and dry.
- If you are not going to use greens immediately, re-bag into a zippered plastic food bag or bowl with tight-fitting lid.
- Keep greens cold until serving.
All the Best,