Cos lettuce is a popular choice for many of us. They play a crucial part in a good Cesar salad. But they seem to have caused a quite a stir in regards to food safety.
There have been a spate of health scares relating to E. coli connected to the leafy salad green—both in Australia and abroad. Why does this happen? There are a few reasons to this:
- Lettuce isn’t usually cooked. Since cooking kill bacteria, eating vegetables raw can be risky
- Cos lettuce is quite difficult to wash. You more likely to spread the bacteria rather than kill it
- Lettuce requires a lot of water to grow. Pathogens can be introduced to the cos lettuce in contaminated water
How do you solve the cos lettuce issue?
Unfortunately, buying local is not the answer. Small, local farms are great in many ways, but they’re no insurance against foodborne illnesses. The reason you never hear about huge outbreaks coming from small farms is simply that they’re small.
Instead, make sure your lettuce is thoroughly washed before consumption and to buy reputable brands only.
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