Fresh greens and recalls are like peanut butter and jelly: they’re not always together, but they’ve become an iconic duo. Once again, fresh spinach is being recalled in the US for concerns over a foodborne illness. This time, it’s salmonella that has health agencies worried.
The FDA has issued a recall notice for baby spinach, fresh cut vegetables, and organic basil sold by an array of retailers in the northeast United States and Eastern Canada.
The baby spinach in the recall was produced by Vegpro International at a facility in Eastern Canada and distributed to New England and parts of Canada. The recall, which was ordered by the FDA, follows a random test issued by the agency to determine whether the greens were contaminated.
The affected baby spinach products have a best by date before December 4 or 5, according to the FDA. The packaging on the recalled items identifies them as “Fresh Attitude” spinach. If you’ve purchased an affected product, you’re advised to either throw it away or return it to the location from which you purchased it with a receipt.
If you return the item, you may be eligible for a refund. In either event, do not consume the recalled greens, as they have a serious risk of illness.
In the case of the other items, check the official FDA release for a full list of which produce items have been recalled. There have been no reports of illness at the time of this writing, though FDA testing showed products in the recalled batch were contaminated with salmonella.
The reason why greens seem to be disproportionately affected by recalls of this nature is their preparation being unique among food items. Most food items can be cooked or otherwise stored in such a way that they are sealed. This prevents contaminations from making it to consumers as easily.
Greens, on the other hand, typically are uncooked when consumed, and are shipped in such a way that they are more susceptible to outside contamination.
They are not canned or packaged in vacuum-sealed packaging. As such, any contamination is more likely to make its way to customers. As such, anyone purchasing fresh greens is encouraged to check any recall notices before going to the store.
Likewise, when you buy fresh greens, make sure you thoroughly wash them before preparing them. It’s better to be safe than sorry; salmonella is a serious illness that can cause major complications.