Consumer Reports Magazine ran tests

on "pre­washed" and "triple-washed" salad greens sold in plastic clamshells or bags and found bacteria "that are common indicators of poor sanitation and fecal contamination—in some cases, at rather high levels." Out of 208 containers representing 16 brands purchased at stores in Connecticut, New Jersey, and New York, 39 percent had "an unacceptable level" of total coliforms and 23 percent were heavy with enterococcus, as determined by "industry experts." Those two things sound like something you don't want to eat, and Google confirms that indeed they are!

The bacteria Enterococcus can cause urinary tract infections, bacteremia, bacterial endocarditis, diverticulitis, and meningitis, while coliforms "are abundant in the feces of warm-blooded animals," thus sprach Wikipedia. According to the report, national brands including Dole, Earthbound Farm Organic, and Fresh Express, plus regional and store brands, had at least one package with relatively high levels of total coliforms or enterococcus.

Ugh, we hit the salad bar almost every day and thought we only had to worry about the occasional "homeless guy squirting urine and feces" incident. [via The Awl]