Is lettuce still safe?

Mildly concerned about all the incidence of contaminated lettuce. How do I work around this?
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Replies

  • autumnblade75
    autumnblade75 Posts: 1,658 Member
    edited November 2019
    I'm half-convinced it's a plot by the romaine growers to keep demand high. By the time the recall is posted, your lettuce is brown and rotted at the bottom of the fridge. https://www.fsis.usda.gov/wps/portal/fsis/topics/recalls-and-public-health-alerts/recall-case-archive/archive/2019/recall-115-2019-release The recall was posted Nov. 21. The use-by dates of the products were all - ALL - *at least 3 weeks* past before the recall was posted.
  • rheddmobile
    rheddmobile Posts: 6,841 Member
    It’s only romaine that’s been recalled, and that only from a certain growing area. At Thanksgiving I was able to find a mix of spinach, baby kale, and baby chard which worked well. There are also plenty of vegetables such as celery, cucumbers, Chinese cabbage, and so on, which make good salad bases.

    Any food eaten without being cooked is always going to be a possible source of contamination. Food grows in the dirt and animals poop and pee in the dirt. Some of them may carry illnesses which get into the food despite everyone’s best efforts. 99% of the time your immune system will fight these illnesses off - a whole lot more people ate romaine lettuce than are currently sick! So, unless you are immune compromised try not to obsess about it and just work with the information you have.

    Immune compromised people are sometimes recommended to avoid raw salads as well as soft cheeses, lunch meats (which can grow listeriosis even at refrigerated temperatures) and other non-cooked foods. If you have immune issues it’s worth reading up for specifics. For people in good health, just try to stay on top of recalls and do the best you can, you can’t control everything.
  • cmriverside
    cmriverside Posts: 32,302 Member
    autumnb - then it's a big fat fail in my area. The store I shop pulls it from shelves for a couple weeks afterward usually. I've mostly switched to red leaf lettuce now. Maybe the Other Lettuce Producers are contaminating the competition.
  • RelCanonical
    RelCanonical Posts: 3,883 Member
    I think the risk is low enough to not worry about it, especially if you’re a generally healthy adult.
  • SuzySunshine99
    SuzySunshine99 Posts: 2,731 Member
    Here's a good article on the possible reasons why leafy greens, especially romaine, seem to be more of a problem in recent years. It has a lot to do with contaminated water making its way into the fields. I live dangerously, so I still eat it:

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/health/why-romaine-lettuce-keeps-getting-recalled-for-e-coli-contamination/2019/11/26/f20e7592-0fc4-11ea-b0fc-62cc38411ebb_story.html
  • cmriverside
    cmriverside Posts: 32,302 Member
    Here's a good article on the possible reasons why leafy greens, especially romaine, seem to be more of a problem in recent years. It has a lot to do with contaminated water making its way into the fields. I live dangerously, so I still eat it:

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/health/why-romaine-lettuce-keeps-getting-recalled-for-e-coli-contamination/2019/11/26/f20e7592-0fc4-11ea-b0fc-62cc38411ebb_story.html

    Washington Post is behind a pay wall.
  • mmapags
    mmapags Posts: 8,946 Member
    I live in Mexico where you assume all produce has been watered with contaminated water. We sanitize everything with Solbac before consuming it.
  • cmriverside
    cmriverside Posts: 32,302 Member
    mmapags wrote: »
    I live in Mexico where you assume all produce has been watered with contaminated water. We sanitize everything with Solbac before consuming it.

    Wait.

    You can't put that stuff on food can you? Isn't it toxic? I can't find the ingredients online but I'm assuming it's a cleaning product...I wouldn't joke about that - you've read the forums, right? Someone is gonna think, "Oh! Good idea!!"

    :lol:
  • rheddmobile
    rheddmobile Posts: 6,841 Member
    mmapags wrote: »
    I live in Mexico where you assume all produce has been watered with contaminated water. We sanitize everything with Solbac before consuming it.

    Wait.

    You can't put that stuff on food can you? Isn't it toxic? I can't find the ingredients online but I'm assuming it's a cleaning product...I wouldn't joke about that - you've read the forums, right? Someone is gonna think, "Oh! Good idea!!"

    :lol:

    I don’t know what Solbac is, but in some countries it’s common to rinse vegetables with a disinfectant. Some delis I’ve been to use a fruit rinse to wash apples before serving them.
  • rheddmobile
    rheddmobile Posts: 6,841 Member
    Here's a good article on the possible reasons why leafy greens, especially romaine, seem to be more of a problem in recent years. It has a lot to do with contaminated water making its way into the fields. I live dangerously, so I still eat it:

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/health/why-romaine-lettuce-keeps-getting-recalled-for-e-coli-contamination/2019/11/26/f20e7592-0fc4-11ea-b0fc-62cc38411ebb_story.html

    Washington Post is behind a pay wall.

    The TLDR version is that no one knows why romaine in particular and they are researching it. The timing (always shortly before Thanksgiving) is unusual enough that researchers have theories about neighboring crops being mulched at that time of year.
  • cmriverside
    cmriverside Posts: 32,302 Member
    mmapags wrote: »
    I live in Mexico where you assume all produce has been watered with contaminated water. We sanitize everything with Solbac before consuming it.

    Wait.

    You can't put that stuff on food can you? Isn't it toxic? I can't find the ingredients online but I'm assuming it's a cleaning product...I wouldn't joke about that - you've read the forums, right? Someone is gonna think, "Oh! Good idea!!"

    :lol:

    I don’t know what Solbac is, but in some countries it’s common to rinse vegetables with a disinfectant. Some delis I’ve been to use a fruit rinse to wash apples before serving them.

    I know. What is Solbac? Anyone? I looked online but it doesn't say anything about being used on food... I suppose I could be wrong. There's a first time for everything :nods:
  • LivingtheLeanDream
    LivingtheLeanDream Posts: 13,345 Member
    Just wash it (salt and water combo) that'll sort it.
  • grinning_chick
    grinning_chick Posts: 765 Member
    edited November 2019
    The "disinfectant" used the clean food service/packaged processed fresh fruit and veg is a 50-200 ppm by chem strip potable water diluted out chlorine bleach soak for a specified amount of time, followed by a final rinse in potable water.

    So unless the Solbac product in question is (1) available in a gallon jug as a liquid vs. the spray cans label Solbac manufactured by CCPI I see online and, (2), nothing more than chlorine bleach with dilution and rinse instructions, it is not likely going to be a FF&V "disinfectant". I can't readily find the MSDS for Solbac, but its marketing would leave a reasonable person to conclude it is equivalent to Lysol. Yeah, no, you don't use Lysol on food.
  • mmapags
    mmapags Posts: 8,946 Member
    mmapags wrote: »
    I live in Mexico where you assume all produce has been watered with contaminated water. We sanitize everything with Solbac before consuming it.

    Wait.

    You can't put that stuff on food can you? Isn't it toxic? I can't find the ingredients online but I'm assuming it's a cleaning product...I wouldn't joke about that - you've read the forums, right? Someone is gonna think, "Oh! Good idea!!"

    :lol:

    I don't know if it's sold in the US but it's primary ingredient is grapefruit seed oil, a totally safe product for human consumption. We actually used in in environmentally friendly restaurants I managed (grapefruit seed oil not the Solbac product). It is diluted , 3 or 4 drops per ltr of water. The veggies or fruits soak for 3 to 4 minutes. No, it's not a cleaning product.

    Your post was a tad alarmist, don't you think?
  • mmapags
    mmapags Posts: 8,946 Member
    Just wash it (salt and water combo) that'll sort it.

    Salt won't do it but vinegar will. It works on the same principle as Solbac. High acidity to kill the bacteria.
  • mmapags
    mmapags Posts: 8,946 Member
    The ingredient label. For the non Spanish speaking, Derivatives of plant citrate and seaweed.