If you value your health (and taste-buds) you'll drop that salad fork and read this article!

Recent tests conducted on  packaged leafy greens found bacteria that are common indicators of poor sanitation and fecal contamination. The story appears in the March 2010 issue of Consumer Reports and is also available free online.

The tests, which were conducted with financial support from the Pew Health Group, assessed for several types of bacteria, including total coliforms and Enterococcus--"indicator organisms" found in the human digestive tract and in the ambient environment that can signal inadequate sanitation and the potential for the presence of disease-causing organisms. While there are no existing federal standards for indicator bacteria in salad greens, there are standards for these bacteria in milk, beef, and drinking water. Several industry consultants suggest that an unacceptable level in leafy greens would be 10,000 or more colony forming units per gram (CFU/g).

Dr. Michael Hansen, senior scientist at Consumers Unions, nonprofit publisher of Consumer Reports revealed further on this disgusting discovery:

"Although these 'indicator' bacteria generally do not make healthy people sick, the tests show not enough is being done to assure the safety or cleanliness of leafy greens," 

"Levels of bacteria varied widely, even among different samples of the same brand. More research and effort is needed within the industry to better protect the public. In the meantime, consumers should buy packages of greens that are as far from the use-by date as possible."

Find out more about this alarming research by visiting here.

[Huffington Post]