purchase outlook mac 2011 how to purchase windows 7 online microsoft office 2007 educational discount buy cs4 web premium mac buy corel paint shop pro x2 buying ms money buy office 2007 standard oem buy indesign cs3 student cheap photoshop elements 6 best price quicken premier 2010 download cost of adobe photoshop cs4 buy filemaker pro 11 price of windows 7 ultimate in uk buying archicad cheap autocad 2004 software
buy apple aperture 2 microsoft office 2010 standard price cheapest ms office discount microsoft office home and student 2007 best price adobe contribute 4 buy microsoft outlook 2010 online buy powerpoint 2008 cost of microsoft excel 2010 price of adobe master collection cs6 buying ms office version buy cheap dreamweaver cs3 buy microsoft access 97 teacher discount microsoft word buy microsoft project student best price corel draw software

You Ask, I Answer: E.Coli & Spinach

spinach leavesThe recent articles on E.Coli are waaaaay scary.

I am more scared about the leafy green vegetable aspect than the risk from eating meat.

Can I minimize my risk by cooking my spinach instead of eating it raw?  Does that kill the bacteria?

– Dennise O’Grady
Bay Head, NJ

The particular strain of E.coli implicated in all these foodborne illness cases (E.coli 0157:H7) can be killed by cooking.

More specifically, infected spinach is rendered safe if it is cooked for at least 15 seconds at 160 degrees Fahrenheit or more.

However, one common mistake many people make is using the same knife they used to cut up infected spinach to chop raw vegetables for a salad.

In that case, even if the infected spinach is cooked for ten minutes at 300 degrees Fahrehnheit, those raw salad vegetables could very well be contaminated.

PS: I have read some very inaccurate reports which claim that dunking spinach in ice water for 30 minutes kills E.coli.  It does not!  Also, “veggie washes” do NOT kill E.coli!



  1. dennise said on October 16th, 2009

    so I should be using a different knife for spinach vrs. other raw veggies?

  2. Andy Bellatti said on October 16th, 2009

    You could certainly do that. Or, use one knife for all vegetables, but just leave the spinach for last.

  3. Terri K said on October 16th, 2009

    So do you recommend not eating raw spinach? I eat it all the time in salads (the organic bags of spinach from Trader Joes) and feed it to my daughter (she doesn’t like it cooked) so now I am debating if I should just stay away from raw spinach all together.

  4. Andy Bellatti said on October 16th, 2009

    It’s difficult to say. While raw spinach is slightly riskier simply from the standpoint that it has been implicated in more E.coli cases than other vegetables, there are millions of pounds of spinach that are safe to eat in a raw state. I would recommend staying away from raw spinach for 3 – 4 weeks anytime an E.coli outbreak is traced back to it (it can take a while for contaminated batches to be taken off of supermarket shelves).

    Of course, if you grow your own, you don’t really need to worry about this.

Leave a Reply