Worry-free spinach

Buy it frozen for Spinach and Crab Enchiladas, Artichokes and Spinach au Gratin, Baked Parmesan Dip, and more.

If you want to eat spinach but are worried about reports of E. coli contamination, consider two alternatives:

1. Buy local. Buy fresh spinach from a small local farmer and wash it thoroughly before eating, especially if eating uncooked. Although the Food and Drug Administration is warning against eating any uncooked spinach whatsoever, its chief medical officer, Dr. David Acheson, told the New York Times that "Clearly the risk is significantly reduced if you know the farmer and know his farm." There has never been a better time to buy local.

2. Use frozen spinach. Frozen spinach is blanched to bacteria-killing temperatures before freezing, and the FDA has stated it is not implicated in the current E. coli contamination. The nine Sunset recipes below all work well with frozen spinach.

If you do use fresh spinach, cook it at 160 degrees for at least 15 seconds, and make sure you wash your hands, cooking utensils, and surfaces with hot soapy water before and after handling the uncooked leaves.


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