Contamination Nation

When contamination affects produce, fear of falling ill may sway shoppers to leave greens off their list… even though nutrition experts confirm they’re essential for maintaining health. So what’s a consumer to do? Toss these ideas around for mixing up a salad that will help ward off disease, not bring it on:

  • Buy whole lettuce as opposed to bagged. Bacteria tend to lurk mainly on the outer leaves, so tear away the first layer and wash your hands as well as the lettuce thoroughly.
  • Avoid eating greens from open salad bars. Not only are they purchased in bulk packages, which raises the risk of contamination, but you can’t know how long they’ve been sitting out or whose hands have touched them.
  • Try vinegar as a veggie wash. Studies find it helps kill off up to 98% of harmful microbes. Use a spray bottle filled with 2 parts water to 1 part vinegar. Or soak deeply creviced veggies like broccoli and cauliflower for 2 minutes before rinsing with cold water.

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