Salads and immunosuppresants - will you or won't you?

stickywicket
stickywicket Member Posts: 27,101
edited 28. Nov 2016, 08:19 in Living with Arthritis archive
Like many with a compromised immune system I was quite shocked to learn that bagged salads are a big health risk as the moist bag, combined with leakage of nutrients into it, provides a perfect breeding ground for bacteria. The worst offenders are rocket and spinach. And thorough washing before eating them doesn't get rid of the problem. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-38026695

But

They're convenient. They save my hands from chopping. And in countless years of buying a bag most weeks, I don't think I've ever had a tummy bug as a result.

So, shall I continue and hope? Shall I keep eating them at home but avoid them in restaurants?

What will you be doing?

Comments

  • daffy2
    daffy2 Member Posts: 1,636
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    In theory the prepped salads will have been doused in some form of sanitising wash(usually chlorine based) before being bagged, which should inhibit bacterial activity somewhat, unless they say they are unwashed. If the dunking water is not kept clean and at the right concentration then problems arise. Choosing bags that haven't been on the shelf for too long(check use by dates and evidence of being bashed around), storing at the right temperature, and not keeping leftovers, should reduce the risk.
    Plants do try to reduce attack from pathogens for their own survival, so in the same way that unbroken skin can resist bacteria better than damaged skin, a 'whole' veg is less likely to be a rapid accelerator bacteria breeder than a cut one - but is more likely to carry soil particles which may contain infective organisms. There's quite a bit of advice on the net about how to wash veg properly(lots of clean water tends to be the common theme).
    It's also worth bearing in mind that what's on the outside of the bag might be more of a risk than the contents, depending on how fussy you are about shopping segregation.....
    The fact that you haven't had a problem so far would suggest that there is no pressing need to abandon them?
  • dreamdaisy
    dreamdaisy Member Posts: 31,520
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    I have been known to by bagged salads when things are rough but I am fortunate in that I am able to manage some chopping etc. or will employ my food proccy for grating etc. One thing that works 'against' them for me is the comparative expense, yes I may spend more in buying lettuce, tomatoes, cucumber, radish, celery, spring onions, peppers and other veg plus fresh herbs but in the summer I can make a fresh salad every day from my supplies (and do).

    I agree with Daffy, if I'm buying a bag I get the latest date I can find then when I get it home I wash it thoroughly and dry it in my G**d Gr*ps salad spinner and box it up. These convenience foods have a role to play, there's no doubt about that, and if one is sensible about prep and storage all should be well. DD

    PS One thing I haven't bought (yet) is ready-grated cheese because I instinctively mistrust it, probably wrongly.
  • frogmorton
    frogmorton Member Posts: 28,075
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    I haven't used them for several years. Probably when Lucy got cancer nearly 3 years ago.

    Much safer to wash it myself!!

    Love

    Toni xxx
  • stickywicket
    stickywicket Member Posts: 27,101
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Being of an indolent nature, and having got away with it so far, I'm inclined to think I'm probably doing something right and should be OK but I might re-take up growing my own come spring, especially the sort where you can just pull off as many leaves as you want. I do like the variety of the mixed bag though. And I might be less inclined to order a side salad in a restaurant.

    Ready-grated cheese? I think you mistrust it rightly, DD. I suspect it has more preservatives. In desperate times (quick lasagne, rubbishy wrists) I've bought a bag but....no.
  • barbara12
    barbara12 Member Posts: 21,276
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    I agree with Toni , I dont use the bagged ones, apparently they are a breeding ground for the germs..
  • daffy2
    daffy2 Member Posts: 1,636
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Sticky, the seed companies have caught on to the interest in mixed salad leaf so it's possible to buy some very varied selections - taste, shape, colour. They are ideal for growing in containers as keeping them off the ground means less dirt getting splashed on the leaves so less washing, and it's easier to deal with pesky molluscs or birds.
  • tkachev
    tkachev Member Posts: 8,332
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    I had no idea either. It is usually only stir fry veg and beanshoots that we buy bagged and I always, only eat them on the day of purchase. I think I'll have to go for the unbagged only from now on.

    Elizabeth

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