Experts: Health risks higher from packaged greens
DES MOINES (AP) — The outbreak of a stomach bug two states have linked to bagged salad came as little surprise to food safety experts, who say the process of harvesting, washing and packaging leafy greens provides numerous opportunities for contamination.
Although nutritionists stress the chances of getting sick from vegetables are low compared to the dangers of a diet without them, packaged salads heighten the risk because leaves from several batches often are mixed together.
“The washing and co-mingling of different batches of lettuce means a hazard that may appear in one field can show up in lots of bags of lettuce because of the common bath,” said Caroline Smith DeWaal, director of the food safety program for the Center for Science in the Public Interest, a consumer health advocacy organization based in Washington.
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