E. coli Outbreak Linked to Baby Spinach
- Illnesses: 15
- Hospitalizations: 4
- Deaths: 0
- States: 10
- Recall: No
- Investigation status: Closed
Vegetables, including leafy greens, are an important part of a healthy and balanced diet. However, they can sometimes be contaminated with harmful germs.
The safest produce is cooked; the next safest is washed. This is because no washing method can remove all germs.
When eating raw leafy greens:
- Wash your hands, utensils, and surfaces before and after preparing leafy greens.
- Clean leafy greens before eating or cutting them.
- Discard outer leaves on whole heads of lettuce and any torn or bruised leaves.
- Rinse under running water and use your hands to gently rub the surface of the leaves.
- Dry with a clean cloth or paper towel.
- If the label on a leafy greens package says “ready-to-eat”, “triple washed”, or “no washing necessary”, you don’t need to wash the greens.
- Separate leafy greens from raw meat, poultry, and seafood.
- Refrigerate leafy greens within 2 hours. Refrigerate within 1 hour if they have been exposed to temperatures above 90°F (such as a hot car or picnic).