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Salad leaves, fresh cut

To determine the microbiological safety of fresh cut leafy salad vegetables, the NSW Food Authority undertook this survey in 2006.

Fresh cut vegetables are minimally processed by washing, slicing, dicing, peeling and/or shredding prior to sale. In Australia, the most common products in the category contain single and mixed leaf varieties including:

  • lettuce
  • rocket
  • baby spinach.

Similar products have been responsible for large foodborne illness outbreaks overseas.

As there was little independent information available to regulators concerning microbiological quality of products for sale in NSW, the Food Authority tested 119 samples for various microorganisms including Listeria monocytogenes, Escherichia coli, and Salmonella.

Results

Results from the survey were generally good with 99% of samples meeting the FSANZ guidelines for the microbiological examination of ready-to-eat (RTE) foods.

Full results are available in the report below:

Table of contents 
Executive summary
Introduction
Materials and methods
Results
Conclusion
References
Appendix