Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Pre-Washed Salad May Increase Food Poisioning Incidents

"Researchers have discovered how salmonella and E.coli germs - more commonly associated with chicken and bovine products - can spread to salad and vegetable leaves.

A salmonella outbreak in the UK last year was traced back to imported basil while an E.coli outbreak in America in 2006 was linked back to pre-packed baby spinach.

Professor Gadi Frankel, from Imperial College, said consumers needed to be aware of the risk of contaminated salad to avoid potential food poisoning.

"In their efforts to eat healthily, people are eating more salad products, choosing to buy organic brands and preferring the ease of 'pre-washed' bagged salads from supermarkets, than ever before," he said.

"All of these factors, together with the globalisation of the food market, mean that cases of salmonella and E.coli poisoning caused by salads are likely to rise in the future.

"This is why it's important to get a head start with understanding how contamination occurs now."

Prof Frankel said just because some labels claimed food was pre-washed did not necessarily make it safe to eat."

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