Saturday, May 19, 2012

DANGEROUS BACTERIA IN FRESH PRODUCE

Yes, fruits and vegetables are healthy, and most of us should eat more of them than we do. But, it is not at all unusual for them to carry bacteria (as well as other contaminants) of one kind or another.

Two of the most common in the United States and Canada - as well as other industrialized nations - are Salmonella and Listeria monocytogenes bacteria. Although there are exceptions, a common pattern is for Salmonella to turn up in whole fresh fruits and vegetables, and for L. monocytogenes to turn up in "ready-to-eat" fresh produce (cut, shredded, bagged etc.). A couple of current recalls in the U.S. illustrate this pattern.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) found the dangerous Listeria bacteria in bagged salad - something that tends to happen several times each year. River Ranch Fresh Foods of Salinas, California is initiating a recall of both retail and foodservice versions of their bagged salads. Caribe Produce LTD Co. of McAllen, Texas, is recalling 286 cases of fresh papayas that they imported from Mexico because Salmonella bacteria turned up in testing. The papayas are sold individually with a label of “3112 CARIBE√ĎA Papaya MARADOL PRODUCT OF MEXICO."

All this does not mean that you have to stop eating fruits and vegetables. But follow best safety practices, as outlined in The Safe Food Handbook (just published in second edition).

To your good health,
TSF

1 comment:

female obgyn said...

We should always be safe on what we eat.