Thursday, April 7, 2011


Another recall of its bagged spinach has just been announced by Fresh Express. Testing turned up Salmonella bacteria in a sample. A deja-vu. This huge company has had so many recalls, and several have involved spinach. So much for clean and safe ready-to-eat greens.

I was in a large supermarket just two days ago, checking the produce aisle, when I overheard a conversation between one of the staff and a customer. The customer was asking whether she had to wash the bagged (yes, Fresh Express) spinach. "Oh no, said the young woman helping her. This is perfectly safe as it has been thoroughly washed. Washing will only make it soggy and be bad for you." I wonder if that was one of the contaminated bags.

But would washing it again help? Maybe, maybe not. The experts - including government ones - are divided in their opinions. Bacteria can get right inside. (So can radioisotopes from radiation, by the way, as found in Japan). But no, if you feel better giving the spinach another rinse or two or three, as long as the water you use is clean, it certainly won't contaminate the spinach.

Incidentally, I was asked at a recent book reading event for The Safe Food Handbook in San Francisco, if I ever bought bagged spinach. I had to confess that I sometimes did. But I added that I cooked it, which is true. (That will usually deal with any pesky Salmonella).

By the way, here are the details on the latest recall: Fresh Express 9 oz. Bag Spinach with Product Codes starting with H081 and H082, UPC Code of 7127913204 and Use-by Dates of April 6 and 7.


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Better just to buy spinach leaves off the supermarket shelf, and wash it yourself. The fewer people who handle what you eat, the better.