Plastic-Packed Salad Leaves May Promote Salmonella Growth, and Even Faster!

Admin | Published 2016-12-04 04:14

You may want to reconsider digging that plastic-wrapped leafy salad cuts. The plastic is helping create a culture of Salmonella bacteria to thrive.

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Food-borne illness can be contracted from Salmonella, a group of bacteria that causes one of the most common food poisoning in the United States. A bag of salad cuts brought from grocers are more vulnerable to Salmonella contamination than those grown at home or picked fresh from the farmers' market. When kept in the fridge, the salad leaves produce watery gunk that can promote a breeding ground for Salmonella enterica. According to the scientists from Department of Infection, Immunity and Inflammation at University of Leicester in UK, the growth of Salmonella in salad gunk may have been induced by the iron from transferrin and siderophore production. Transferrin is an iron transport protein in serum and siderophore is an iron chelating compounds secreted by microorganisms such as bacteria.

That's one big salmonella!

When salad leaves get soaked in the contaminated water, the Salmonella can attach to the leaves strongly as a biofilm. They are impossible to remove even after washing them. The salad bag plastic also promotes contamination of different types of pathogen.

The study shows that even a small amount of exposure to the watery gunk produced by the salad cuts can leave persistent traces of Salmonella which will ultimately end up to the consumer.

Salmonella can be killed by heating up the food, but you are left without that option for fresh salad cuts. It is important to ensure the microbiological safety of fresh produce before reaching the consumers.  
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