Bagged salad is easy to open, great on a hot summer day and a super easy dinner. Is it safe to eat?
Let’s see what the experts say. I eat bagged salad and unless I am reporting a bagged salad recall will buy the Dole and Fresh Express products. I am careful and if there is a bagged salad recall, I check what’s in my frig.
This week, Fresh Express had a recall of 8,000 cases of Hearts of Romaine. I have Fresh Express at home but it’s Iceberg Lettuce.
Apparently, I am not alone, a contributor of US Food Safety, Doug Powell, a professor of food safety at Kansas State University, was quoted on nbcnews.com, “We call it faith-based food safety,”and most of it is faith-based.”
Powell and Christina Bruhn, a researcher in food science and technology at UC Davis, say that while figuring out what fraction of the lettuce may make you sick is a gamble, they still place their bets on the bagged stuff.
“I go to the biggest grocery store I can find,” he said. “They have requirements for what they put on the shelf.”
Even the crisp heads of lettuce in a farmer’s market stall can be suspect, said Powell. They may be fresh and local, but that’s no guarantee of safety.
“The lettuce was sitting swamped in water for days,” he said. “If I go to a farmer’s market, I don’t want to know that it’s lovingly grown. I want to know you’ve taken steps for microbiological safety. If you can’t answer those questions, I don’t want to buy your lettuce.”
I will take my chances.