Research finds bad salad leaves 'massively stimulate' Salmonella

Part of the experiment Credit: University of Leicester

Investigations by University of Leicester microbiologists have revealed that damaged salad leaves can ‘massively stimulate’ the presence of Salmonella in pre-prepared salad meals.

The scientists also discovered that the juices from the damaged leaves could cause a much more potent form of infection than normal.

Dr Primrose Freestone, leading the investigation, called for more rigorous food standards with salads as “even small traces of juices released from damaged leaves can make the pathogen grow better and become more able to cause disease.”

Dr Freestone also advised the public to consume a bagged salad “as soon as possible after it is opened” to give any potential Salmonella bacteria less time to grow in number.

Leaves under examination Credit: University of Leicester

Salmonella contamination has been a prevalent issue for Midlands-based businesses. Catermix, a food company in Syston, Leicestershire, was fined £4000 after the bacteria was foundin their spice mix.