Fresh salad. Leaf chopping increases the Salmonella risk

By | Food for thought, Food Safety | No Comments

University of Leicester team show leached juices from leafy vegetables enhance growth and virulence of food poisoning bug.

Here is another article highlighting the risk of fresh cut salad. The aim here is to underline those aspects of the food industry which must be improved rather than making consumers diffident or afraid when buying a salad bag.

Issued by University of Leicester Press Office on 18 November 2016

  • Lab study shows juices from damaged leaves in bagged salad increase Salmonella pathogen growth 2400-fold over a control group
  • Leached juices also increased the pathogen’s capacity to form a strong and wash-resistant attachment to salad leaves
  • Research highlights need for growers to maintain high food safety standards

The research is led by Dr Primrose Freestone of the University’s Department of Infection, Immunity and Inflammation and PhD student Giannis Koukkidis, who has been funded by a Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) i-case Studentship.

Here below the link showing the results of the University investigation.

According to my experience the risk of pathogens bacterial growth is high when the hygiene conditions during the cultivation process are not met by the producer. If salad will be produced according to the standard and hygiene parameters there will not be risk of Salmonella or E.coli O157 for example.

For this reason Casaqa is deeply involved in the study of the ideal environment for the cultivation of salad with the aim to prevent any kind of contamination. An excellent result has been already achieved thanks to the cultivation in specific designed green houses which are different from the green houses used until today.  Clearly the cultivation in an open field cannot be easily under control since it is subject to external contaminations such as wild and domestic animals, pollution etc., on the other side the method and green houses are giving great results.

Even if the fact is well known in the industry it is difficult to convince them of the use of these specific green houses especially in Spain which is one of the biggest salad producer in Europe.

Casaqa is working in this direction to innovate the fresh salad sector. Even if these changes are not often accepted, Casaqa continues to promote the methods and techniques to improve the food safety in the baby leaf production.