And this despite the fact that such bagged salads often display claims of 'prewashed' or 'triple-washed' and attract customers who consider them cleaner and safer.
First the soda fountains at fast food restaurants, and now this--Consumer Reports has just published an investigation revealing that 39% of the packaged salads tested contained "bacteria that are common indicators of poor sanitation and fecal contamination." And this despite the fact that such bagged salads often display claims of 'prewashed' or 'triple-washed' and attract customers who consider them cleaner and safer.
Instead, CR was looking for "total coliforms and for other bacteria, including enterococcus, that are better indicators of fecal contamination." The reason for the test was that currently, while there are federal limits on the amount of "indicator" bacteria that can be legally found in water, milk, raw meats, and processed foods, there's no such standard for produce. And so, CR set out to discover whether there was sh!t in your salad (or at least, bacteria that commonly, though not necessarily, forms in feces). Here's what they found:
Several industry experts we consulted suggested that for leafy greens, an unacceptable level of total coliforms or enterococcus is 10,000 or more colony forming units per gram (CFU/g) or a comparable estimate. In our tests, 39 percent of samples exceeded that level for total coliforms and 23 percent for enterococcus.