Bathing the baby.....

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Bathing the baby.....

Postby Karen/NoCA » Mon Apr 03, 2006 5:58 pm

spinach I buy in bags, that says it is already washed, is a chore I wonder if I can do without. I sort through, pull off the stems, bathe and spin dry. A friend told me it was overkill and I was wasting my time. Ok, so I've started not washing, still pulling off the stems and wondering whose hands have been on that spinach besides mine. Do you buy the bagged spinach and do you go to all the trouble of washing it again?
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Re: Bathing the baby.....

Postby Jenise » Mon Apr 03, 2006 6:05 pm

Karen/NoCA wrote:spinach I buy in bags, that says it is already washed, is a chore I wonder if I can do without. I sort through, pull off the stems, bathe and spin dry. A friend told me it was overkill and I was wasting my time. Ok, so I've started not washing, still pulling off the stems and wondering whose hands have been on that spinach besides mine. Do you buy the bagged spinach and do you go to all the trouble of washing it again?


Karen, I'm one who does. I would so like to skip this chore, but when I see the yellow-colored water that accumulates in the bottom of my salad spinner, I gain the courage to wash again. Or at least, rinse thoroughly. :)
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Re: Bathing the baby.....

Postby Robin Garr » Mon Apr 03, 2006 6:12 pm

Karen/NoCA wrote:Do you buy the bagged spinach and do you go to all the trouble of washing it again?


I don't buy it too often, but when I do - and when I buy bagged "pre-washed" lettuce, too - I always re-wash it. I learned this from Jenise in this very forum, years ago, and ever since then I figure it's worth the minimal extra effort. As you say, you never really know whose hands (or other extremities) have been on those leaves.
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Re: Bathing the baby.....

Postby Stuart Yaniger » Mon Apr 03, 2006 6:27 pm

Yellow water. Oh, my.

Yes, rinse, especially if it's going to be used raw in a salad. What does it take, maybe another minute?
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Re: Bathing the baby.....

Postby ChefCarey » Mon Apr 03, 2006 7:11 pm

Karen/NoCA wrote:spinach I buy in bags, that says it is already washed, is a chore I wonder if I can do without. I sort through, pull off the stems, bathe and spin dry. A friend told me it was overkill and I was wasting my time. Ok, so I've started not washing, still pulling off the stems and wondering whose hands have been on that spinach besides mine. Do you buy the bagged spinach and do you go to all the trouble of washing it again?


Don't want to make anyone nervous here...


Bagged "Pre-Washed" Lettuce: Is Convenience Worth the Risk?
At least 23 Minnesotans have become ill with E. coli O157:H7 infections after eating bagged, pre-washed lettuce. At least 245,000 bags of lettuce were recalled for potential E. coli contamination nationwide, and some of the recalled lettuce was found to be contaminated with the same E. coli that sickened the 23 Minnesotans. E. coli attorney William Marler asks, "Is the convenience worth the risk?" What more needs to be done to prevent future outbreaks?

(PRWEB) October 10, 2005 -- With at least 23 people in Minnesota sickened with the deadly E. coli O157:H7 bacterium, 8 of them hospitalized, and 1 child developing acute kidney failure, all from apparently eating bagged, "pre-washed" lettuce, one needs to ask if the convenience is worth the risk? According to the FDA, more than 245,000 bags of lettuce might be affected nationwide. An alert and recall has been launched. Some of the recalled lettuce has been found to be contaminated with the same E. coli that has sickened the 23 Minnesotans. Is the convenience worth the risk? What more needs to be done?

As maintained in a recent article in the Salinas Californian, 23 percent of all salads in the United States are bagged, and in 2004 bagged lettuce reached $4 billion in sales. This, despite numerous outbreaks traced to E. coli-contaminated produce in the last few years.

In October 2003, 13 residents of a California retirement center were sickened and 2 died after eating E. coli-contaminated "pre-washed" spinach. In September 2003, nearly 40 patrons of a California restaurant chain became ill after eating salads prepared with bagged, "pre-washed" lettuce. In July 2002, over 50 young women were stricken with E. coli at a dance camp after eating "pre-washed" lettuce, leaving several hospitalized, and 1 with life-long kidney damage. The Center for Science in the Public Interest found that of 225 food-poisoning outbreaks from 1990 to 1998, nearly 20 percent (55 outbreaks) were linked to fresh fruits, vegetables or salads.

What about bagged, "pre-washed" lettuce and other fresh fruits and vegetables? Is "pre-washing" enough? Has this $4 billion industry done enough to protect consumers? Should consumers wash again the "pre- washed" product? Perhaps; however, in a study published in the January 2002 journal of Applied and Environmental Microbiology, washing lettuce, no matter how often, may not make the product safe. The study found it possible that lettuce can be contaminated "through transport of the pathogen into the plant by the root system."

So, what should consumers do to protect themselves? What can the industry do to protect its customers? Research, more research -- we need to find a way to make sure pathogenic E. coli stays out of products that are not cooked before eaten -- like salads. We need to know if washing (repeatedly) is enough, or if other, more invasive procedures, are necessary. Is the convenience worth the risk? Research should tell us.

###

BACKGROUND: Marler Clark has represented thousands of victims of foodborne illness outbreaks, including the most severely injured children who became ill with E. coli O157:H7 during the 2002 dance camp E. coli outbreak at EWU, and the 2003 Pat & Oscar's E. coli outbreak, as well as one of the victims and the family of a woman who died during the outbreak at the Sequoias retirement facility. Marler Clark has also represented victims of outbreaks linked to contaminated orange juice, cantaloupe, sprouts, and almonds. See the Marler Clark-sponsored Web site about E. coli O157:H7.



To read news about the Dole lettuce E. coli outbreak, visit the News Archives.
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Re: Bathing the baby.....

Postby Stuart Yaniger » Mon Apr 03, 2006 7:44 pm

If an attorney who makes his living from panic says to panic, that may be a good reason not to panic.
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Re: Bathing the baby.....

Postby Christina Georgina » Mon Apr 03, 2006 8:29 pm

Yikes ! I always rinse and spin.
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Re: Bathing the baby.....

Postby Karen/NoCA » Mon Apr 03, 2006 8:58 pm

Karen, I'm one who does. I would so like to skip this chore, but when I see the yellow-colored water that accumulates in the bottom of my salad spinner, I gain the courage to wash again. Or at least, rinse thoroughly.

This is just the response I suspected I would receive. I've never had yellow-colored water, however I have had some sort of soapy bubbles from the pre-washed lettuce. I usually buy organic, but the bagged, washed, baby spinach is hard to pass up.
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Re: Bathing the baby.....

Postby ChefCarey » Tue Apr 04, 2006 8:56 am

Stuart Yaniger wrote:If an attorney who makes his living from panic says to panic, that may be a good reason not to panic.


I personally dislike attorneys more than the next guy. However, it ain't gonna make me stick my head in the sand - however prewashed it may be.

Wash the stuff.
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Wash It!!!!

Postby Ed Vermillion » Tue Apr 04, 2006 1:39 pm

While not dismissing E Coli I would worry more about Hep A, B & C which are gifts that keep on giving. I wouldn't worry too much about attorneys. If you don't poke sharp sticks at them they won't bite you. :D
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Re: Wash It!!!!

Postby ChefCarey » Wed Apr 05, 2006 10:00 pm

Ed Vermillion wrote:While not dismissing E Coli I would worry more about Hep A, B & C which are gifts that keep on giving. I wouldn't worry too much about attorneys. If you don't poke sharp sticks at them they won't bite you. :D


Oh, I know attorneys well. The Sherlock Holmes group to which I belong - The Giant Rats of Sumatra - is about 70% attorneys, along with a few judges. One of the attorneys and I vie for the trivia title every year when we have our annual dinner on Holmes' birthday. Who knows that date without cheating with Google? :)
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Re: Bathing the baby.....

Postby Bill Spohn » Thu Apr 06, 2006 10:46 am

Robin Garr wrote:As you say, you never really know whose hands (or other extremities) have been on those leaves.


Thank you for THAT mental picture Robin.

I shall never again be able to gaze upon a package of quail without pondering what rustic deviant may have been confounding himself with delight in their bodily orifices (we need an emoticon for 'shudder')

I much prefer to be the first person to stuff MY quail, thank you.

And Jenise - how can you take zucchini in hand without wondering...... :oops: :roll: :oops:

I guess the subject just doesn't bear thinking about - wash, cook well and move on, blithely believing that the only one to have tenderised your pot roast was you.
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Re: Bathing the baby.....

Postby Robin Garr » Thu Apr 06, 2006 11:12 am

Bill Spohn wrote:Thank you for THAT mental picture Robin.


Glad to share it ... ;-) Seriously, though, a few years ago we had a bad outbreak of e. coli-related illness in our town, and health officials eventually traced it back to several restaurants using California lettuce that had apparently been unintentionally contaminated by field workers who weren't given, erm, adequate relief facilities in the workplace.

Wash that lettuce, I say. And as for your quail-related fantasies, let's just draw a discreet veil of silence over that ...
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Re: Bathing the baby.....

Postby Karen/NoCA » Thu Apr 06, 2006 8:53 pm


Mercy! You have convinced me. I am back to washing and spinning. Knew I couldn't get away with it!!!! :wink:
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Re: Bathing the baby.....

Postby Barb Freda » Fri Apr 07, 2006 1:01 pm

Sigh. I guess I'm convinced, too.

Sigh. I'm so lazy.

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Re: Bathing the baby.....

Postby Paul Winalski » Sat Apr 08, 2006 12:34 am

Putting things in perspective:

All it takes is one live bacterium in the wrong place to produce a serious infection. Tens of millions, if not more, of these salads are bought and consumed without incident annually. 23 sick Minnesotans is in the statistical noise.

Unless you are one of the unfortunate Minnesotans.

So why be involved in a statistical crapshoot (pun intended)? Wash those greens one more time to get rid of whatever might be breeding and lurking there. Takes but a minute, and you then know you've done due diligence and can enjoy with the knowledge it's as safe as it possibly can be.

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