Can salad make you sick?
By: Melissa D'costa
That bowl of cut leafy green veggies is bound to lure you into picking it up, when you think of all the time and energy you can save by not having to drop in at your local market, haggle with bhajiwalas, clean, cut and toss.
A pre-packed salad bowl we picked up at a suburban supermarket.
The trouble is, nothing in life comes easy, and what does, needs to be doubted.
Researchers in Britain have carried out a study that found that pre-packed salads could lead to food poisoning since the leafy vegetables often get contaminated by germs and common bacteria like salmonella and E coli. The germs live in the guts of cows and the egg-ducts of chicken, and contamination of meat could occur during slaughtering. They can also be found in vegetables fertilised with contaminated manure or through contact with contaminated products.
So, how do I whip up a safe, healthy salad?
Deepshikha Agarwal, Dietician and Sports nutritionist
Salads are healthy, a rich source of fibre, vitamins and minerals, and ideal for weight watchers since they satiate the hunger sans the calories. That's true, but a salad must be consumed as soon as it's made, or it loses its health benefits.
1. Steer clear of fatty dressings, even if they are low calorie options. They could be high in salt, sugar or other fatty substitutes. Instead, use herbs like basil, a dash of lemon, crushed garlic, chopped ginger, and a dash of oregano for taste.
2. Use as many different colours and textures of vegetables as you can. Use mushrooms, bell peppers, carrot shavings, cucumbers, kidney beans, tomatoes and olives.
Include as many colour in a salad. Here's why
The colours of fruits and vegetables are a small clue as to what vitamins and nutrients are included.
Red vegetables: They reduce risk of prostate cancer, lower blood pressure, reduce tumor growth and LDL cholesterol levels, scavenge harmful free-radicals, and support join tissue in arthritis cases.
Orange and yellow: Lower LDL cholesterol and blood pressure, promote collagen
formation and healthy joints, fight harmful free radicals.
Green: They contain chlorophyll, and reduce cancer risk, stabilise digestion time, support retinal health and vision.
Blue and purple: Boost immune system activity, support healthy digestion, improve calcium and other mineral absorption, fight inflammation.
Pre-packed salads could poison you
Dr Anil G Ballani, Consultant Physician, Hinduja and Lilavati Hospitals
The popularity of pre-packed salads could lead to an increase in food poisoning cases. You should be aware of the dangers of buying ready-to-eat greens, since they expose you to stomach
How can bagged salad cause food poisoning?
Green leafy vegetables like lettuce, can be contaminated by the water used for irrigation, or by water seeping in from nearby fields of cattle. It can cause stomach cramps, vomitting and diarrhoea, and can lead to kidney damage in certain cases.
How can I avoid the risk?
1) Buy fresh vegetables from the market.
2) If you have to buy pre-packed salads, wash them well before consuming.
3 tips to keep disease at bay
1.Wash your hands before preparing the salad.
2.Since salmonella can contaminate salads and vegetables by gripping the leaves with their flagella, wash green leafy vegetables under running water. Then soak them in lukewarm water.
3.Clean your kitchen counter top, cutting boards, and utensils after peeling vegetables, and before further cutting. Bacteria from the outer surface of vegetables can be transferred to the inside, when they are cut or peeled.