Salmonella in your salad - the health cost of convenience?

Salmonella in your salad - the health cost of convenience?

'Illness from prepackaged salads isn’t uncommon. The current salmonella outbreak in Australia comes at the same time as an outbreak, of another bacteria, listeria monocytogenes, in prepackaged salad in North America.'

Andrew Greenhill and David Bean, Senior Lecturers in Microbiology, Federation University Australia, note that these recent outbreaks highlight 'that raw agricultural products – when simply washed and marketed in bags – aren’t always as good as we may think.':

This morning, there's been a report of salmonella in bean sprouts:

Something to bear in mind, particularly when we have neutropenia...

But perhaps there's a lighter side to this subject too:


Photo: Dandelion salad anyone?

7 Replies

  • We just went through a Bagged Salad Listeria Hysteria as well... it was off the store shelves for three weeks and now its back... hopefully they have corrected the problem... 🤔

    Lots of organic salad in the mix as well...

    Its a serious problem for the immunocompromised and semicolon club... I try to avoid bagged salads, but it is everywhere in the restaurant industry now...


  • Forgot to mention hepatitis A in ORGANIC frozen berries...

    So is that mean the Hep A was organic...?..Hmmmmm

    Hepatitis A is a highly contagious virus. It is transmitted Hepatitis when contaminated food or water is eaten or through contact with an infected person’s stool.

    Sometimes those who are infected show no symptoms. For those who do become sick, symptoms usually develop two weeks after exposure and can last for months. They include mild fever, loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, fatigue, dark urine, clay colored stools and jaundice. Those most at risk for Hepatitis A infections are seniors and those with weakened immune systems.

  • Hi Neil,

    Funny comic! I think I ate at that diner!

     Where I live there are dandelions everywhere right now!  I keep wondering if I should harvest some for my salad but then I think of our compromised immune system and how it could be a real battle trying to get rid of some unwanted bug.  I'd rather not have to do battle so I'll resist.  It is a real challenge to try and eat "healthy" but avoid bacteria, parasites and other bugs.  Especially since it is harder for CLL folks to get rid of these infections.



  • Dear GOSHAWK,

    Thanks for the heads up on bagged salad.  I think all greens/produce should be labeled when it is sprayed with anything.  When I can get something fresh to grow in my garden that is what I do.  Good for you for eating well.


  • Do you know what is actually sprayed onto the salads? Legislation regarding what can be sprayed if anything and whether it needs to be declared would vary around the world. In Australia I have observed supermarket staff spraying vegetables on display with what I presume is just water, given they attach a hose with hand operated spraying nozzle to a pipeline in the cooled display shelving, but I haven't asked if only water is used.


  • Bagged salads are washed in water, often 3 times...some companies used modified atmosphere packaging, or MAP.

    In Canada if chlorine rinse is used it must be stated on the bag, but most municipal water supplies are treated with chlorine or chloromide.

  • While I don't buy bagged salads, I'll now be interested to see what is disclosed on the bag.  Personally, I'd prefer my bagged salad washed with chlorinated water - given that's the most common means of treating municipal water supplies to reduce bacterial contamination.  I'd be concerned if the water hadn't been treated.


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