Packaged Salad: Convenient Or Contaminated?

Salad fixings on a white surfaceAre packaged salads safe?

With so many scary headlines about recalled lettuce greens and the bacterial company they keep — we’re talking stomach-sabotaging, potentially deadly strains like salmonella and listeria — can you really trust what your grocery store is selling?

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The experts say…yes. In most cases, don’t stress. But, do understand what you can do to keep your salads a little safer. Billions and billions of bags of packaged greens are sold a year, and in most cases, people don’t get sick. But, the reality is, there aren’t always enough safeguards in place, so there’s always a slight chance.

Any produce growing outside is going to be exposed to wildlife, irrigation water, soil — a whole host of potential contaminants that are beyond a farmer’s control. (This is why we wash our fruits and veggies, after all.) Bagged leafy greens are no different. They get triple-washed at the processing plant, swished around in chlorine water before they’re stuffed into plastic containers or bags, then shipped off to your supermarket.