Salad is popular with people who want to maintain a balanced and healthy diet. Salad varieties are often offered for sale ready-cut and film-packaged. It is known that these types of fresh produce may be contaminated with bacteria that are relevant from the point of view of hygiene. A working group led by Professor Dr. Kornelia Smalla from the Julius Kühn Institute (JKI) has now shown that these bacteria may also include bacteria that are resistant to antibiotics.
“We have to get to the bottom of these findings,” said Professor Dr Georg Backhaus, President of the Julius Kühn Institute. Antimicrobial-resistant bacteria are known to occur in manure, sewage sludge, soil and bodies of water. “This worrying detection of these kinds of bacteria on plants is in line with similar findings for other foods,” adds Professor Dr Dr Andreas Hensel, President of the German Federal Institute for Risk Assessment (BfR). “We are now assessing as a matter of urgency what this finding means with regard to the health risk for consumers.”