Periodically there are outbreaks of illness caused by eating contaminated leafy greens. The contaminants are usually bacteria such as E coli and Salmonella. The illness is typically diarrhea, sometimes with belly cramps, nausea, and vomiting. And rare deaths.
Cathe Friedrich published an interesting article about this phenomenon. Here are a few bullet points (I haven’t independently verified):
- Leafy greens such as lettuce are linked to 22% of food poisoning outbreaks over over the last 10 years
- The riskiest leafy green is bagged, ready-to-serve lettuce
A few ways to avoid foodborne illness:
- Avoid pre-packaged leafy greens
- Avoid sprouts
- Keep the produce refrigerated and dry
- Consume before the expiration date
Steve Parker, M.D.