Doctors from the FDA, CDC and Washington University School of Medicine held a conference call earlier today to update the medical community on the E. coli outbreak according to The Associated Press.
In addition to providing an update on cases and recalls, the scientists also offered this advice: Don’t cook raw spinach in an attempt to kill E. coli.
While cooking raw spinach to a temperature of 160°F for 15 seconds can kill the bacteria, the scientists pointed out that few consumers have the ability to precisely gauge the temperature at which their food is being cooked; consumers who handle raw spinach also run the risk of cross-contaminating other foods. Consumer Reports concurs.
While you should still be able to cook and consume frozen and canned spinach, you should avoid all raw spinach and raw spinach-containing foods, and should not attempt to cook raw spinach.