Nosestretcher alert: does washing lettuce make it safer? Do inspections make restaurants safer?

There’s some myths floating around New Brunswick after an outbreak of E. coli O157 was linked to the Jungle Jim’s restaurant in Miramichi.

Dr. Eilish Cleary, New Brunswick’s chief medical officer of health said, “if a piece of lettuce is contaminated with E. coli but is thoroughly washed before being served, the risk of passing along the bacteria to consumers is greatly reduced."

No, that contamination needs to be prevented on the farm and through the supply system. Washing don’t do much.

When the illnesses were linked to the Miramichi restaurant in May, owner Brian Geneau said Jungle Jim’s has had several health inspections and has always received green ratings, which indicate a top level of compliance on the Department of Health’s color-coded inspection system.

Inspections don’t mean much but can help bolster the overall culture of food safety. I’d be more interested in your lettuce purchasing practices.