Do you often eat fresh salad in your home? Yes, but as soon as it is picked up in the supermarket refrigerator section! Then you will be interested in the discovery made by the Italian researchers concerning the packaged salads. Slightly more than 5% of the analyzed samples were found to be altered.
From the analysis conducted by the Experimental Zooprophylactic Institute of Piedmont, Liguria and Valle d'Aosta, it emerges that packaged salads are quite safe. "Only" 5.2% of the samples were altered, a low percentage but according to some consumers, significant. Let's see how the research was conducted.
305 samples were collected divided into two groups: in the first group 146 heads of freshly harvested salad, in the second group 159 salad bags ready to be sold.
The project, funded by the Ministry of Health, consisted of checking the product at the origin and then retesting them when they were packaged to be placed on the market. A combined analysis where each sample collected corresponded to a twin in the supermarket.
The work was carried out in collaboration with two companies, one of which is a leader in the sector and the other smaller that distributes wholesale. A microbiological analysis was carried out on all samples, both freshly collected and packaged products, to identify the most important pathogenic bacteria.
A single case of Salmonella presence on freshly harvested leaves emerged, not confirmed in the packaged product.
For the packaged salads, a second inspection was carried out: it consists in probing the sample leaf by leaf in search of anomalous macroscopic finds (moldy leaves) or foreign bodies (peat, earth, sand, pebbles).
The examination turned out to be satisfactory: only eight samples were found to be non-compliant.
However, it is important to point out that the packaged salads they represent a very delicate food: it is necessary to always maintain the cold chain after purchase, and follow the instructions to avoid alteration of the organoleptic characteristics and bacterial proliferation.
The conservation of salads in bags it must not exceed a maximum of seven days from purchase, but it is preferable to consume them first, especially if the package is opened.