Salad is considered a healthy food and can be conveniently bought ready-to-eat in a bag. But Stiftung Warentest has now come to the conclusion that every second packaged salad contains too many germs.
Stiftung Warentest examined 19 packaged salads, including two organic products and a salad for children. The shocking result: not one of the salads tested received the grade “very good” or “good”. Instead, the consumer organization even gave it the grade “poor” once – to an organic salad that had already gone off when it was bought. Eight salads were rated “sufficient” and ten were rated “satisfactory”. One of the reasons why the products did not do better was that they had far too high a bacterial load. Among other things, the amount of germs such as enterobacteria and Escherichia coli as well as the number of molds and yeasts were tested. It was also determined how high the exposure to pesticides is. The testers came to the result that nine out of 19 salads contained too many germs. Pesticides, on the other hand, were hardly found. Only one organic product was exposed to pesticides so high that it shouldn’t have been labeled “organic”. After all, no dangerous pathogens such as Ehec or Salmonella were found in any of the products. However, germs, molds or yeasts can also lead to gastrointestinal problems in sensitive people if they are contained in larger quantities than permitted. Basically: Packaged salads should be eaten a few days before the expiry date if possible and washed off thoroughly before consumption – even if they are declared ready to eat.