Tip of the Week

Can I use beansprouts raw in salads and can I use frozen vegetables such as sweetcorn raw in salads?

The answer is NO, unless the item is labelled as “Ready to Eat”.

Bean Sprouts

Raw bean sprouts have been linked to many cases of food poisoning over recent years.  Therefore, the NHS currently advises not to eat them raw but to cook them until they are steaming hot throughout unless they are labelled ‘ready to eat’.

This is because raw bean sprouts can be contaminated with bacteria which carries a high risk of foodborne illness.  Bean sprouts are grown in warm, moist conditions that are ideal for the rapid growth of bacteria such as Salmonella, E.coli and Listeria.

Bean sprouts are excellent used in stir fries but are not to be used raw in salads unless they are labelled as “ready to eat”.

Sweetcorn and Frozen Vegetables

The Food Standards Agency, Food Standards Scotland, Public Health England and Health Protection Scotland are reminding people that most frozen vegetables, including sweetcorn, need to be cooked before eating.  This includes not adding them raw to salads, smoothies or dips.

A few years ago there was a food poisoning incident relating to people eating frozen sweetcorn raw.  9 people died of listeriosis.


If the packaging does not state “ready to eat”, bean sprouts must be cooked before use.  Frozen vegetables need to be cooked thoroughly and can only be eaten raw if the packaging states “ready to eat”

Weekly Food Fact

Did you know that sweetcorn is cholesterol free.  It’s a good source of vitamin C and A, potassium, thiamine and fibre, and is very high in antioxidants.  An ear or cob of corn is actually part of the flower and an individual kernel is a seed.