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Keep harmful microbes out of our salad bowls.

The salad bowl instantly lost its attraction last Monday when news broke that research by the American University of Sharjah (AUS) found locally grown salad greens, particularly jarjeer or rocca leaves, to be heavily contaminated with the dreaded E. coli and salmonella strains of bacteria.

The dismay among consumers is understandable given the importance of salad greens in nutrition. Apart from being nature's vitamin, mineral and weight-loss pills and a staple food in many cultures, locally grown salad greens are affordable and promote local farming. Fortunately, municipality officials have come forward to reassure everyone that locally grown salads greens are totally safe to eat.

E.coli infections have not been on the rise as should have been the case if contamination were to be rife. The authorities are also speaking to the AUS to determine exactly what strain of E.coli has been found, and whether it is a pathogen. The UAE's stringent quality checks for food products, and good agricultural practices for local farmers, ensure consumer confidence remains high, as in the recent horsemeat issue.

With this issue too, the sooner we can reach for the salad bowl with certainty again, the better.

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Publication:Gulf News (United Arab Emirates)
Date:Mar 16, 2013
Words:210
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