In 2012, US companies recalled salad greens in plastic bags eight times due to Listeria contamination. Listeria is a deadly form of bacteria that can cause miscarriage, weak immunity, and neurological concerns.
Unwashed bagged leafy greens are typically contaminated by soils fertilized with manure.
It’s best to buy pre-washed greens, or fresh greens not stored and shipped in a plastic bag. Although this is not definitively clear, it is possible that storage in plastic encourages the growth of certain bacteria.
Once the greens are contaminated with harmful bacteria, it is difficult to wash off. In fact, the FDA reported that washing may actually cause cross contamination from your hands, sink, counter or cutting board and expose the greens to other bacteria. Of course, you must wash your greens but you can cut your risk by not buying greens shipped and stored in plastic.
Don’t Eat Slimy Greens
When some of the greens start getting slimy, the bacteria have penetrated the outer skin of the veggies and, once inside the fruit or veggie, it is more susceptible to further infection as the plant’s defenses have been compromised. When those greens start to spoil, throw out or compost the whole batch.