New York (CBS) Consumer reports have found that some leaf green recently sold in supermarkets are contaminated with potentially deadly bacteria. Here's what you need to know.
Consumer Reports tests 284 samples of fresh green fruits, including lettuce, spinach and kale, sold in supermarkets. They found six of those samples stained with listeria, a potentially deadly bacterium. Two of the samples were packed and pre-washed, the other four were loose heads or grapes.
"Washing does not necessarily remove bacteria," said Tricia Calvo of Consumer Reports. "Bacteria can stick to the leaves and cling to microscopic cracks, so washing is not a guarantee that lettuce or green will have no bacteria in it."
Calvo says people are at the highest risk of listerial complications being elderly people, pregnant women and young children. She proposes to think not to eat raw leafy vegetables.
"The safest thing for them is to eat greenery that can cook," says Calvo.
Tainted green fruits are sold to four different traders in Connecticut, New Jersey and New York in June.
Public health officials have not reported any illness or concern as a result of their own checks.
Consumer Reports does not advise anyone to stop eating leafy greens, but instead wants consumers to pay attention to food safety.
"One thing you can do to protect yourself is to eat them as soon as you buy them," Calvo said. "You do not want to give the bacteria time to grow if it's green.
A trade association that represents retailers, wholesalers and suppliers selling food products in stores, says: "The incidents described in Consumer Reports remind us that the whole supply chain is responsible for the safe handling of food . "
Calvo says one way to minimize the risk of bacteria is to avoid raw greens in restaurants.
Exposure to listeriosis can cause listeriosis, which usually requires hospitalization and can lead to death. 1
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