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Bagged Spinach Safety

Is it Safe to Eat Bagged Spinach?

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In September, 2006, an outbreak of E. coli halted purchases of bagged spinach. Since then, many consumers still shy away from buying it, but in truth, it is completely safe to consume fresh spinach! The E. coli outbreak was quickly identified as originating from a supplier in California and the ban was lifted shortly after. Fresh spinach was consumed long before the E. coli scare, so there is no reason to eliminate it from your diet. Leafy greens, such as spinach, are truly beneficial to our health, and they taste so great! Some of my favorite recipes contain spinach so they are one vegetable I couldn't do without.

As with any bagged produce, there are some steps to take to insure that your spinach or lettuce is clean and ready to eat:

  • When purchasing, check both the date on the package and the quality of the lettuce or spinach that you can see from inside the bag. Never purchase produce that has passed its sell by date, and if you can see lettuce or spinach that has browned or wilted, pass it by or make it aware to the store that is selling it.
  • After purchasing, place produce in a refrigerator as soon as possible. When lettuce gets too warm, it will start to turn brown and is no longer suitable for eating.
  • Before opening a bag of produce, make sure to wash your hands thoroughly.
  • Even though bagged produce is most times labeled that is washed and ready to eat, it is always a good idea to wash produce under clean, running water.
  • If preparing salad around meat, make sure no part of your spinach or lettuce comes in contact with raw meat or its juices. Meat can contain E. coli or other bacteria that you don't want on your salad. Also be sure any utensils that have come in contact with raw meat do not come in contact with your produce.
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