Pre-washed spinach may not be so clean

Pre-Washed Spinach May Not Be So Clean

Pre-washed bagged greens are convenient, but they may not be as clean as you'd expect.

According to recently presented research, almost 15 percent of a baby spinach leaf's surface does not get exposed to high enough concentrations of the commercial disinfecting solution used to wash it.

This unevenness is due to the numerous bumps, curves, and depressions on the leaf itself.

In fact, the team found that as much as 90 percent of the bacteria that was already present survived after being rinsed with a similarly weak bleach rinse.

And because some bacteria like E. coli and salmonella remain, they can continue to multiply and spread.

Preventing further contamination is the main concern.

Over the past 10 years, leafy greens caused 18 known outbreaks of food poisoning in the U.S.

In 2006, 199 people got sick and 3 died from E. coli-contaminated spinach.

While further protections are being developed, the research team suggests rinsing the leaves before consuming them.

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