CHICAGO (CBS) — First cantaloupes. Now there’s the possibility shredded Romaine lettuce may have the listeria bacteria. CBS 2’s Dana Kozlov takes a look at what consumers should think about when buying their food.
Grocery shopping. You pick your produce, often without thinking twice about it. But food-safety experts say maybe you should.
“Because of how interconnected our industrial food supply is,” says expert Kantha Shelke, “an issue in a single facility can very quickly escalate.”
Shelke says that interconnectedness is one reason the recent cantaloupe listeria outbreak was so widespread. It’s also why the recall of chopped and shredded romaine lettuce from True Leaf Farms is also reaching cross country, even though no one has gotten sick from eating it.
The CEO of Church Brothers, the company that part-owns True Leaf Farms, says they are testing the lettuce and sanitizing the plant every day.
If that’s not enough to make you pause, Kraft Foods announced a recall of Velveeta Shells and Cheese cups, with specific “best when used by” dates for the possibility that thin wire bristles are inside.
Shoppers say from processed foods to produce, it makes them think.
Mary Kay Gawne says it doesn’t make her think about where she shops but it does make her think about where she buys her food.
So what should people consider when strolling down the produce aisle?
“Temperature, temperature, temperature,” Shelke says.
She says it’s important to make sure produce in the market is kept cool and adds shoppers should keep perishables cold and be careful what they eat if food is left out too long. In addition, she says cut fruits and vegetables are more prone to quick bacteria growth than non-cut foods. That’s because cut foods release moisture, creating a perfect breeding ground for bacteria.