April 11, 2014 18:34 ET
CFIA tests over 4,000 samples
OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwired - April 11, 2014) - Canadian Food Inspection Agency
As part of the Canadian Food Inspection Agency's (CFIA) routine testing of various food products, a survey released today found that more than 99.9 per cent of leafy green vegetable samples had no detectable levels of bacterial pathogens and were safe to consume.
As part of a five-year microbiological plan that began in 2008/2009, the CFIA analyzed a total of 4,250 domestic and imported, whole and fresh-cut fresh leafy vegetable samples available in the Canadian market for Salmonella, E. coli O157:H7, E. coli O157:NM and generic E. coli. The fresh-cut samples were also tested for Listeria monocytogenes.
The 2009/2010 study deemed 12 samples to be "unsatisfactory" due to the presence of Salmonella, Listeria monocytogenes, and/or high levels of generic E. coli. None of the samples were found to be positive for E. coli O157:H7 or E. coli O157:NM.
All unsatisfactory samples were subject to food safety investigations and further directed sampling. As a result of this survey, two products were recalled. No illnesses were associated with consumption of any of the products.
The overall finding of this survey suggests that the vast majority of leafy green vegetables in the Canadian market are produced and handled under good agricultural and manufacturing practices. However, vegetable contamination with E. coli, Listeria or Salmonella could sporadically occur. Consumers should follow these safety tips when choosing to purchase and consume leafy green vegetables at www.healthycanadians.gc.ca.
2009-2010 Bacterial Pathogens and Generic E. coli in Fresh Leafy Green Vegetables
Chemical Residues / Microbiology Targeted Surveys
Michael BolkeniusPress SecretaryOffice of the Minister of Health613-957-0200Media RelationsCanadian Food Inspection Agency613-773-6600
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