Oh, Those Bagged Salads!


          Robert Preidt, a HealthDay Reporter, wrote an interesting article on bagged salads.  Researchers have found that prepackaged salads may promote the growth of salmonella bacteria.  If you find even slight damage to leaves in the salad bags, they can release juices that encourage the spread of salmonella.  The juices also boost the bacteria’s ability to form biofilms, which cling tightly to the surfaces they coat and make it hard to wash the bacteria off the produce.

          The salad leaf crops are first exposed to salmonella when out in the field from sources such as insects, bird droppings and manure, according to co-author Primrose Freestone, an associate professor of clinical microbiology at the University of Leicester in England.

          Prepackaged salads are common in all grocery stores and are also what they serve in fast food places and for airline meals.  Few studies have examined how salmonella behaves in these products.

          The team’s study was published in November of 2016 in the journal Applied and Environmental Microbiology.  They wanted to investigate what happens to salmonella in a bag of salad to better understand the potential risks to consumers and to inform future research on reducing attachment of this pathogen to salad leaves.

          Their study is part of their ongoing research into ways to reduce the risk of salmonella persisting and growing when it is present in bagged salad.

          I guess the next time you want to make life a little easier after a long day at work, think twice before grabbing that bagged salad mix.  I know we have all done it, but do we really want to risk the health of our family by even a slim change at salmonella? I have always thought there was a different taste to the bagged lettuce and absolutely prefer the good old organic head lettuce that I can cut up myself.  Happy and safe salad eating!

Dr Fredda Branyon