Do you think it is good enough to just rinse produce in water? - FOX13 News, WHBQ FOX 13

Do you think it is good enough to just rinse produce in water?

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Fresh food isn't as clean as you think it is.

We know there are some pretty gross things out there like bacteria and viruses everywhere.

But what Angela Davis found in a mess of greens had us wondering -- just how clean is our food?   
           
"It looked like a baby crocodile to me," Davis said, who has seen a lot of things in her life, but what she found in her greens just might take the cake.

She was cleaning them and getting them ready to go with her smoked turkey necks.

"I reached down to pick up some more and I see this thing. I'm like 'Jesus!,'" she said.

Even we weren't sure what it was or why it was white. It looked like a bleached lizard.

"I kind of feel sad for the lizard," said Connie Cook.

Cook, a lab director, has been testing things for FOX13 News all week. We decided to get her to test some veggies. We bought spinach.
"We could find salmonella and we could find E.coli," Cook said.

MORE: EWG's 2014 Shopper's Guide to Pesticides in Produce

Here's how Cook tests it. It's simple really. She pours a solution on the spinach, runs the leaves through a machine, similar to a washing machine, and tests the water that comes off them. Initially, she didn't think we would find anything.

"Mistakes can be made," Cook said.

And they were.

Our spinach leaves not only came back with coliform on them, the levels were extremely high.

"Over 900,000 colonies," Cook said.

Colonies are individual organisms. Cook thinks there's a chance it could have come from a bird, but not from humans or sewage.

"If they ate that raw and unwashed they could get sick," she said.

Think stomach problems. Nothing deadly. But that's not the only thing she found. Something worse. Levels of staph.

"This was the staph that can cause infections," Cook admitted.

Cook said proper washing should be enough to get rid of any of those. According to the Food and Drug Administration's website, the FDA is the primary federal agency responsible for regulating our food supply.

How this spinach got past them, we got a statement from the FDA.

"The FDA enforces the federal food, drug, and cosmetic act, but is not physically able to be in every farm, packing facility, and food processing/manufacturing facility in the U.S."

"There's more there than what you think when you see the display in the grocery store," Cook said.

Davis learned that first-hand.

"I think it was messed up for it to end up in that place anyway because somebody had to pack it," Davis said.

She got her money back, but that's about it.

"My sister and my daughter came and they took it back because I was dumbfounded," Davis said. "She said they were nonchalant and asked, 'Did you want some more greens?'"

No thank you.

"I went with cabbage," Davis said.

Baby crocodile not included.

MORE:  Is it clean...or not?


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