According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, about one in six Americans get sick annually from foodborne illnesses. Statistically, that equates to 48 million people with 128,000 hospitalizations and 3,000 deaths. Some of those pathogens are bacteria, e.g. salmonella, e-coli, campylobacter jejuni, giardia, listeria and clostridium. Viruses and parasites are also common.
News reports surface from time to time about folks getting sick from spinach, lettuce, bagged salads, etc. Since salad greens grow close to the ground, they can be contaminated by polluted irrigation water as well as bacteria and parasites from human or animal feces.
Organic greens that are packaged usually say “triple washed, ready to eat.” That’s comforting. In any event, here are two great tips to give you peace of mind:
1) Easy Washing Routines (3 choices)-
– Natural, safe vegetable and fruit washes contain plant-based surfactants, are non-toxic and eco-friendly. They can be sprayed directly on items or added to a bowl of clean water. Soak several minutes and rinse well.
– 1 cup of white distilled vinegar, 3 cups of water and 1 TB. salt in a bowl of water. Soak several minutes and rinse well.
– Nutribiotic Grapefruit Seed Extract – 30 drops to a sink full of cold water. Rinse if desired.
2) Salad spinner-
removes all the water and the finished greens are lovely. They prevent the greens from going limp from moisture and allow your dressing to adhere better to the leaves.