Be wary if you are a Taco Bell eater in the tri-state, the green onions are the icky culprits. And here's Marian on why this is happening more often: “A little bit of contaminated produce from one farm can infect tons of produce when it is all mixed together. 'Someone makes a small mistake, but someone chops up green onions and puts them in salsa and ships them off to Taco Bell, and you have exponentially magnified the problem,' said Carole Tucker Foreman, an agriculture official in the Carter administration, speaking hypothetically."
Here's what a food safety guy says: "Dr. Michael P. Doyle, director of the University of Georgia’s Center for Food Safety, says his family buys only whole vegetables, not those that have been processed, chopped and bagged. 'We don’t eat bagged salads because I don’t think they are safe under present conditions,' Dr. Doyle said. Instead, for example, his family buys a head of lettuce. The person preparing the lettuce washes it and removes the outer leaves, where most of the harmful bacteria are likely to be, then washes his hands and washes the inner leaves of the lettuce."
Hmmm. Here’s another reason to be an “anal retentive chef” [who knew that SNL bit would be so prophetic?] like Dr. Doyle. Or alternatively to eat locally grown, unprocessed veggies and support your friendly farmer. Personally, I like that direct relationship, knowing that I can ask the farmer everything I need to know about how his/her food was made. And stories like these make me quite conscious that buying food at my local Associated, even in Whole foods, where veggies and fruits are being grown, processed and shipped from all over the place cannot be great for my body, the environment or the local economy.
Am I beginning to sound like a broken record? I'm feeling like one; too many outbreaks like this recently. It's getting to be more than just a possibility that your veggies, whether in your fridge or at a large chain resto, can be contaminated. Just yuck really.