Bagged Salad Is a Breeding Ground for This Deadly Bacteria

Photo by Wichawon Lowroongroj / Shutterstock.com

If you plan to serve or eat bagged salad over the holidays, you might you want to reconsider those plans.

New research shows bagged salad is uniquely suited for breeding salmonella, the bacteria responsible for the food-borne illness salmonellosis.

Researchers at the University of Leicester in England found that over a typical five-day period of refrigeration, around 100 salmonella bacteria multiplied to approximately 100,000 individual bacteria.

Their findings were recently published in the journal Applied and Environmental Microbiology.

At the root of the problem is the “juice” found in bagged salad. This juice comes from the lettuce leaves themselves when they are damaged, and it mixes with any water present inside the bag.

The study found that when the juice was mixed with water, it more than doubled the movement of individual salmonella bacteria.

Researcher Giannis Koukkidis, a graduate student, explains:

“This salad juice can stimulate salmonella growth massively in this salad plastic bag environment. Salmonella also attaches more aggressively to the salad plastic bag when it comes in contact with salad juices, and salmonella can even grow in the fridge much faster when it comes into contact with salad juices.”

Normal microbes present on the salad leaves did not respond to the juice, however. That led the researchers to believe that the juice gives salmonella “a marked advantage” over other bacteria attempting to multiply on the lettuce, according to the study.

Salmonella causes an estimated 1 million illnesses in the U.S. each year, including 19,000 cases that lead to hospitalizations and 380 that end in death, according to federal government data. That’s more than any other bacteria associated with food poisoning, including the notorious E. coli.

To learn more about how to protect yourself from salmonella, check out “7 Keys to Dodging Deadly Bacteria Lurking in Your Food.”

Does this news change your mind about bagged salad? Let us know below or on Facebook.

Disclosure: The information you read here is always objective. However, we sometimes receive compensation when you click links within our stories.

Read Next
How to Fix 6 Common Retirement Mistakes
How to Fix 6 Common Retirement Mistakes

Here’s how to strengthen your nest egg before or even during your golden years so these missteps don’t ruin your retirement.

7 Surprising Advantages of Downsizing as a Retiree
7 Surprising Advantages of Downsizing as a Retiree

Downsizing your home offers many benefits, including some you may not have anticipated.

11 Small Money Moves That Will Make a Big Difference
11 Small Money Moves That Will Make a Big Difference

These small money moves will pay off big in the long run.

How to Get Rid of 6 Hard-to-Sell Things
How to Get Rid of 6 Hard-to-Sell Things

Find out where to sell, donate or recycle items — and feel good about it.

14 Things We Buy and Then Almost Never Use
14 Things We Buy and Then Almost Never Use

Save your money. These items seem alluring, but they often end up as coat racks and dust magnets.

View this page without ads

Help us produce more money-saving articles and videos by subscribing to a membership.

Get Started

Most Popular
17 Everyday Products Now Facing Shortages
17 Everyday Products Now Facing Shortages

Many goods we take for granted have become tough to find in 2021.

If You Find This Thrift Shopping, Buy It
If You Find This Thrift Shopping, Buy It

This iconic dinnerware is prized for everyday use as well as reselling for profit.

20 Things That Are Actually Worth Stockpiling
20 Things That Are Actually Worth Stockpiling

You don’t need a year’s supply of toilet paper to survive an outbreak, but consider stocking up on these items.

9 of the Best Things to Do When You Retire
9 of the Best Things to Do When You Retire

You’ve waited all your life for this moment. Make the most of your retirement.

Medicare Will Not Cover These 6 Medical Costs
Medicare Will Not Cover These 6 Medical Costs

Don’t let these health care expenses catch you off guard in retirement.

Beware This Hidden Ingredient in Rotisserie Chicken
Beware This Hidden Ingredient in Rotisserie Chicken

Something foul may lurk in those delicious, ready-to-eat birds.

7 Kirkland Signature Items to Avoid at Costco
7 Kirkland Signature Items to Avoid at Costco

Even if it seems you save a bundle buying Costco’s Kirkland Signature brand products, they may not be the bargain they appear to be.

3 Colors That Can Ruin Your Car’s Resale Value
3 Colors That Can Ruin Your Car’s Resale Value

Select the wrong color for your next car, and it could depreciate twice as fast as others.

9 Groups Who Should Brace for Higher Income Taxes
9 Groups Who Should Brace for Higher Income Taxes

Recent proposals would hike taxes for people with a wide range of incomes.

Never Buy These 10 Things on Amazon
Never Buy These 10 Things on Amazon

Just because you can purchase something on Amazon doesn’t mean that you should.

7 Big Purchases You Should Never Make
7 Big Purchases You Should Never Make

Sometimes a big-ticket purchase is nothing more than a big waste of money.

12 Deep Discounts Available on Amazon This Friday
12 Deep Discounts Available on Amazon This Friday

These items are steeply discounted — but the deals won’t last long.

8 of the Worst Things to Buy at Target
8 of the Worst Things to Buy at Target

No store can specialize in everything. For some purchases, it’s smart to shop elsewhere.

5 States With the Worst Health Care for Retirees
5 States With the Worst Health Care for Retirees

All of these states are located in the same region of the nation.

8 Things You Should Be Buying at Thrift Stores
8 Things You Should Be Buying at Thrift Stores

For one expert, these secondhand bargains stand out from the rest.

20 Great Part-Time Jobs for Retirees
20 Great Part-Time Jobs for Retirees

Retirees can dial back the intensity of work while continuing to bring in a paycheck.

3 Ways to Get Microsoft Office for Free
3 Ways to Get Microsoft Office for Free

With a little ingenuity, you can cut Office costs to zero.

5 Ways to Get Amazon Prime for Free
5 Ways to Get Amazon Prime for Free

Hesitant to drop $119 a year on an Amazon Prime membership? Here’s how to get it for free.

11 Foods That Can Keep for Years
11 Foods That Can Keep for Years

These are some of the longest-lasting groceries you can buy.

View More Articles

View this page without ads

Help us produce more money-saving articles and videos by subscribing to a membership.

Get Started

Add a Comment

Our Policy: We welcome relevant and respectful comments in order to foster healthy and informative discussions. All other comments may be removed. Comments with links are automatically held for moderation.