In a three-year research project, the Max Rubner Institute has examined the microbiological quality of fresh, plant-based products. It has now presented its report. It focused on unhealthy bacteria, such as Listeria, Salmonella or Escherichia coli. The good news: the microbiological quality of cucumbers, carrots and mushrooms was good. The bad news: Ready-to-eat mixed salads and sprouts remain microbiologically problematic.
In the MRI study, a total of 600 fresh, herbal products were sampled. These included mixed lettuce, ready-to-eat salads (i.e. pre-cut, washed salad mixes and ready-to-eat salads), cucumbers, herbs, carrots and sprouts. In addition to this, edible mushrooms were included. The products were retailed in both northern and southern Germany. In addition to the microbiological quality, the occurrence of the relevant human pathogenic bacteria Listeria monocytogenes, Salmonella, pathogenic Escherichia coli and the toxin producing Staphylococcus aureus and Bacillus cereus was investigated.