Ordering one Caesar salad; Hold the bacteria!
When you think of eating salad, you think healthy. But Consumer Reports recently found that nearly 40 percent of bagged salad we tested had unacceptable levels of bacteria, including indicators for fecal matter! Yes, fecal matter means exactly what you think it means – and signals that not enough is being done to keep salad free of bacteria that can cause vomiting, diarrhea and worse.
Shockingly, the Food and Drug Administration doesn’t have a limit on fecal coliforms or other indicator organisms in bagged salad or fresh leafy greens – even though they have such standards for drinking water, dairy products and beef. And this despite horrible illnesses and deaths linked in recent years to contaminated bagged spinach and other fresh produce.
A bill stalled right now in the Senate would require the FDA set these limits, but consumers shouldn’t wait for Congress to get its act together. Tell the FDA to set standards on bacteria in bagged salad and leafy greens now!
The agency has opened up a special docket for 90 days to take your comments on preventing safety problems in fresh produce – tell them your thoughts. (Please note that the docket is public record, and your name and comments will be part of that public record).
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