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Toss that bagged spinach!
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Billiam



Joined: 11 Jul 2006
Posts: 34
Location: 6 mi N of Seattle Fault

PostPosted: Fri Sep 15, 2006 10:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It's been unofficially recommended for years to wash/rinse pre-washed and bagged greens before using. It'll be interesting to see how it was being sold when they track the source down (whether it was advertised as 'ready to eat' or not).

For those of you who've never used bunched spinach before (likely since the bagged stuff is so popular) be warned that the bunch is usually very sandy and needs a good rinse. Separate the leaves and dump them in a 1/2-sink of clean water and agitate for 30 seconds. Pull out the leaves and dry on a towel, or better yet in a salad spinner.

I use fresh spinach (or other green with some bite) paired with romaine in salads, and it's great on poultry-based sandwiches. Cooked in pasta and soups, or sauteed in bacon fat with a splash of cider vinegar, salt, pepper, nutmeg and chopped walnuts. Yummers.
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lily



Joined: 10 Jul 2006
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Location: worcester, ma

PostPosted: Fri Sep 15, 2006 10:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

we had a big sign up in our school cafeteria saying 'we are not serving spinach' and everyone was like 'wtf?' but now i know.
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Kilgore



Joined: 09 Jul 2006
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Location: Portland, Or

PostPosted: Sat Sep 16, 2006 12:22 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

OKAY....Who pooped in the spinach!!
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CopperTop



Joined: 13 Jul 2006
Posts: 127
Location: South of Next Tuesday

PostPosted: Sat Sep 16, 2006 2:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

A heads up - if still available in stores, do not buy bagged "field greens" salad mixes, as those generally contain spinach as well.

A couple of restaurant managers on another forum I frequent were advised to toss their bagged spinach and field greens salad mixes for that reason.
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Sam



Joined: 09 Jul 2006
Posts: 9482

PostPosted: Sat Sep 16, 2006 6:20 pm    Post subject: actually I like spinach Reply with quote

Kilgore wrote:
OKAY....Who pooped in the spinach!!


It was the perfect crime before you showed up. It was spinach! Nobody could tell!
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Darqcyde



Joined: 11 Jul 2006
Posts: 10277
Location: A false vacuum abiding in ignorance.

PostPosted: Sat Sep 16, 2006 8:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I detest cooked spinach but love it as a salad green


damn wiki is quick

wiki wrote:


It is sometimes discouraged to reheat spinach leftovers since poisonous compounds are formed during this process. What is behind this advice is that certain bacteria can grow on prepared nitrate-rich food, such as spinach and many other green vegetables. These bacteria can convert the nitrates into nitrites, which may be especially harmful to infants younger than six months. The nitrate-converting enzymes produced by the bacteria can convert even more at elevated temperatures during the second heating. For older children and adults, small concentrations of nitrites are harmless, although formation of nitrosamine compounds from the nitrites could be of concern for adults as well. [1]

On September 14, 2006, The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued an alert to consumers about an outbreak of E. coli O157:H7 that may be associated with the bagged fresh spinach. As of 12:52pm EST the investigation is ongoing and states that have reported illnesses include: Connecticut, Idaho, Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, New Mexico, Oregon, Ohio, Utah and Wisconsin.[2]. There have been over 400 produce-related outbreaks in North America since 1990.[/quote

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Darqcyde



Joined: 11 Jul 2006
Posts: 10277
Location: A false vacuum abiding in ignorance.

PostPosted: Sat Sep 16, 2006 8:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

original

Quote:
Spinach and other leafy vegetables contain high concentrations of nitrate. The amount depends on the variety, season, and the soil and water conditions where the vegetable was grown. Nitrate itself is totally harmless, but it can be converted to nitrites, and then to nitrosamines, some of which are known to be carcinogenic. Enzymes present in bacteria convert nitrate to nitrite. This happens especially when spinach is heated, stored and then later reheated. Nitrite itself is a harmless compound, but it should be avoided by infants of up to 6 months. It can affect the ability of the blood to transport oxygen by transforming haemoglobin, the protein that carries oxygen in the blood, into methaemoglobin, a form of the protein which is unable to carry oxygen. This can be dangerous for babies and is commonly known as “Blue Baby Syndrome”. However, in view of the fact that acidic conditions favour the formation of nitrosamines from nitrite, coupled with the facts that nearly all foods contain some protein and are exposed to acid in the stomach nitrosamine production cannot completely be prevented. Hence the recommendation to avoid reheating spinach.


Now I wonder if E. Coli is one of the types of bacteria mentioned...could be a mitigating factor.= Scary thing is I have never heard this advice. Sad
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Michael



Joined: 09 Jul 2006
Posts: 10657

PostPosted: Sun Sep 17, 2006 4:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

lily wrote:
we had a big sign up in our school cafeteria saying 'we are not serving spinach' and everyone was like 'wtf?' but now i know.


we are NOT serving spinach.

and everybody's like heyy come on gimme some spinach and they're like: no.
And everybody's like, wtf?

BEAUTIFUL!

If I ever open a cafeteria it's gonna have a big "we are NOT serving spinach" sign at the entrance.
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WheelsOfConfusion



Joined: 09 Jul 2006
Posts: 12125
Location: Unknown Kaddath

PostPosted: Sun Sep 17, 2006 5:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

lily wrote:
we had a big sign up in our school cafeteria saying 'we are not serving spinach' and everyone was like 'wtf?' but now i know.

Even if some of it is contaminated, that's no excuse to label ALL spinach contaminated and refuse it basic services like food in a school cafeteria. This is institutionalized vegetable profiling! That spinach has every right to be served that you do!
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Monkey Mcdermott



Joined: 10 Jul 2006
Posts: 3315

PostPosted: Sun Sep 17, 2006 8:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Tales of dumbass college student customers

So this group comes in 15 minutes before the pub closes natch, and orders a high pasta (naturally the biggest pain in the neck dish we could make). When the server informs them that we could make it but we arent serving spinach, the girl goes off "why not, i want spinach, thats why i eat the high pasta! Why dont you have the spinach" When he informs her that there has been an E. Coli outbreak with bagged spinach and people were dying of it. Her eyes got really wide and she asked


'PEOPLE ARE DYING FROM EATING HERE?!?"



Yes dear...thats why we're still open...way to waste daddy's money.
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mouse



Joined: 10 Jul 2006
Posts: 17101
Location: under the bed

PostPosted: Mon Sep 18, 2006 11:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Darqcyde wrote:
original

Quote:
Spinach and other leafy vegetables contain high concentrations of nitrate. The amount depends on the variety, season, and the soil and water conditions where the vegetable was grown. Nitrate itself is totally harmless, but it can be converted to nitrites, and then to nitrosamines, some of which are known to be carcinogenic. Enzymes present in bacteria convert nitrate to nitrite. This happens especially when spinach is heated, stored and then later reheated. Nitrite itself is a harmless compound, but it should be avoided by infants of up to 6 months. It can affect the ability of the blood to transport oxygen by transforming haemoglobin, the protein that carries oxygen in the blood, into methaemoglobin, a form of the protein which is unable to carry oxygen. This can be dangerous for babies and is commonly known as “Blue Baby Syndrome”. However, in view of the fact that acidic conditions favour the formation of nitrosamines from nitrite, coupled with the facts that nearly all foods contain some protein and are exposed to acid in the stomach nitrosamine production cannot completely be prevented. Hence the recommendation to avoid reheating spinach.


Now I wonder if E. Coli is one of the types of bacteria mentioned...could be a mitigating factor.= Scary thing is I have never heard this advice. Sad


doubt it - e. coli is an intestinal bacteria. sounds like the other is some sort of nitrifying bacteria - those are usually found in the soil or in water.

bacteria should be killed by sufficient heat, however - boiling temperatures should do it (which is why you can sterilize things by boiling them). wonder if the reheating thing means spinach is generally not heated to a sufficient temperature when reheated, or whether there is some further chemical change not dependant on bacteria.
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Desire



Joined: 09 Jul 2006
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 19, 2006 3:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

If I remember right, it has to be cooked at 170F for at least 15 seconds.


My food sanitation books are buried in my trunk somewhere or I'd go check.

Some of the bacteria out there I found pretty scary with how resistant it can be to dying, even at extended high-temps. It is good that my company makes us take these classes, but it makes me more paranoid everytime I have to eat out.
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Desire



Joined: 09 Jul 2006
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 19, 2006 3:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Of course, it doesn't stop me from ordering my steak rare or my eggs over light*. Rolling Eyes






*Just not while I'm pregnant.
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WheelsOfConfusion



Joined: 09 Jul 2006
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 19, 2006 9:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I like my eggs overeasy. Can't stand runny eggs. However, my steak is best served with a ribbon of red in the middle. Fortunately steak is mostly contaminated on the surface rather than the interior, unlike hamburger.
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rm



Joined: 25 Jul 2006
Posts: 4073

PostPosted: Tue Sep 19, 2006 11:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I like my eggs florentine.
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