Prepackaged Lettuce? Let us not!

I haven’t eaten a single bite for nearly 42 hours. Right now, I’m gingerly sipping on veggie broth, hoping to work my way up to food. On Sunday evening, I started feeling not quite right and didn’t really want to eat my dinner. When I woke up Monday morning, I felt like my feet were heavy and I was very fatigued. By 10:00 a.m., I knew something was working on taking me down…

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The flu was my first thought, for it is highly contagious and is working its way around these parts like wildfire. For all my hand-washing precautions, the flu can get you airborne style. No one is safe. I spent last night in agony. I went to Hades and back in my feverish dreams, praying for deliverance. I was quite sick. This morning, I knew that it wasn’t the flu. Food poisoning had come to pay me a visit…

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And though I don’t have a lab working on it right now, I can pretty much say with certainty where I got it from. Prepackaged lettuce. As a vegetarian, I eat A LOT of lettuce. I throw the greens over everything…sandwiches, soups, as a garnish. The prepackaged, prewashed stuff is obviously convenient…

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However, I have lately felt very dissatisfied with my prepackaged salad purchases. I buy the plastic tubs, and even though there is always plenty of time before they expire (as per the date on the packaging), when I open them, I frequently find unsavory lettuce. Slimy lettuce…eww. Black, rotten bits…gross. Some healthy, while much is wilted and distressed…not for me!

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Just this Saturday, I’d made a sandwich and had to pick the best pieces from a package that ought to have been entirely fresh but wasn’t looking all that great. I even thought, I hope I don’t get sick. Handsome came home with a fresh package from the grocery, and I promptly told him how annoyed I was getting with the packaged kind (as I threw away the bad lettuce from the fridge). We were wasting money on convenience…

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It only takes a few minutes of online research to learn of the risks of prepackaged lettuce. Recalls are rampant, and pre-washed on the label holds no certain safety value. As I lay fitful and feverish all night, unable to even sip water without nausea and sharp pains, I thought to myself, I’m pretty strong and healthy, but what if an elderly person or child got this? They would be at serious risk…

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I won’t be purchasing ready-made salad mixes anymore. Apart from the bacterial risks, I was losing money anyway with as quickly as they were going bad. Henceforth, this lettuce lover will be buying a fresh bunch/head every few days, and taking the extra time to prepare it myself. But as for just this moment, another cup of warm broth and a long nap is calling my name. Be safe, all you gobblers of greens!

15 thoughts on “Prepackaged Lettuce? Let us not!

  1. I learned that lesson a few years back. I try to get the freshest produce. I cold rinse everything before use, even eggs which are from local range fed chickens. I’m constantly rinsing and wiping the counter and utensils with cold water. As a single person it is hard sometimes shopping for the right quantity before it goes south in my fridge, but excess then goes in the compost.

    Hope you are feeling better. I swear by Bragg’s Apple Cider, it has many uses.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Fresh whole lettuce that I wash myself, is what I’m going for in future. I’ve always been careful about my food handling too, but I should have pitched that off-looking lettuce! Argh! I’ve heard good things about this vinegar. I’ll pick some up!

      Like

  2. I have been using spinach as a lettuce replacement in salads (which I buy in a bag but wash) and it works just fine. I started with this when I needed to boost my immune system during chemo.
    Do hope you are feeling better. I’ve had food poisoning and I know what an awful feeling it is.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Oh my, hope you feel better now! It’s true that the convenience we get off packaged lettuce is actually a waste of money and they do gone off very fast. Never trusted the “prewashed” claim, always have to rinse again just on the safe side 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I won’t even try to make any kind of a joke this time. Contaminated food is a serious, even deadly, problem. Please regain your strength, MiLady; you are much needed at this coming RenFaire season.

    Liked by 1 person

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