Photo: Canadian Food Inspection Agency
Leafy greens usually have crisp green leaves and stalks, and should be eaten raw or lightly cooked to preserve the nutrients.
Popular types of leafy greens include:
- bok choy
Because leafy greens are often eaten raw, they can be a source of food poisoning.
The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) released the results of a survey (starting from 2008/2009) of 4,250 domestic and imported, whole and fresh-cut fresh leafy vegetable samples in the Canadian market for Salmonella, E. coli O157:H7, E. coli O157:NM, generic E. coli, and Listeria monocytogenes.
- The 2009/2010 study deemed 12 samples to be “unsatisfactory” due to the presence of Salmonella, Listeria monocytogenes, and/or high levels of generic E. coli.
- None of the samples were found to be positive for E. coli O157:H7 or E. coli O157:NM.
- All unsatisfactory samples were subject to food safety investigations and further directed sampling.
- As a result of this survey, two products were recalled.
- No illnesses were associated with consumption of any of the products.
- The recent, overall finding of this survey is that more than 99.9 per cent of leafy green vegetable samples had no detectable levels of bacterial pathogens and were safe to consume.
- Therefore, the vast majority of leafy green vegetables in the Canadian market are produced and handled under good agricultural and manufacturing practices.
- However, vegetable contamination with E. coli, Listeria or Salmonella could sporadically occur.
During the five-year plan, over 10,000 leafy vegetable samples have been collected and tested for the presence of pathogens.
- Further results will be released as lab tests are analyzed.
Consumers should follow these safety tips when choosing to purchase and consume leafy green vegetables at Healthy Canadians.
Over 99.9% of fresh leafy green vegetables tested had no detectable pathogens
CFIA tests over 4,000 samples
April 11, 2014 – Ottawa, ON – Canadian Food Inspection Agency
As part of the Canadian Food Inspection Agency’s (CFIA) routine testing of various food products, a survey released today found that more than 99.9 per cent of leafy green vegetable samples had no detectable levels of bacterial pathogens and were safe to consume.
As part of a five-year microbiological plan that began in 2008/2009, the CFIA analyzed a total of 4,250 domestic and imported, whole and fresh-cut fresh leafy vegetable samples available in the Canadian market for Salmonella, E. coli O157:H7, E. coli O157:NM and generic E. coli. The fresh-cut samples were also tested for Listeria monocytogenes.
Read more of CFIA Survey: Over 99.9% of Leafy Green Vegetables in the Canadian Market Had No Detectable Pathogens