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Amid pandemic, poopy salads still pose health threat

Enlarge (credit: Getty | The Washington Post)

With pandemic stress eating colliding with holiday feasts last week, many of us may be eyeing some healthy salads in the coming days. But if there’s one constant we can rely upon in this year of upheaval—it’s the enduring possibility that our leafy greens may be laced with poopy bacteria.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention currently has three open investigations on Escherichia coli outbreaks—two directly linked to leafy greens and the other involving a bacterial strain that caused an outbreak in 2018 linked to romaine lettuce.

Meanwhile, the Food and Drug Administration had issued four separate safety alerts for recalled salad fixings this month. Three of the recalls involved romaine lettuce—a now notorious source of gut-busting bacteria—for potential E. coli contamination. Over the past weekend, the FDA added baby spinach to the list, another common culprit, for potential Salmonella contamination.

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