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We all know salad is supposed to be good for us, but that obviously depends on the people making the salad being able to pick the right leaves! This week, a German botanist spotted leaves of the poisonous weed Senecio vulgaris or common groundsel in bagged salad at a supermarket in Hanover.
Senecio species commonly contain toxic pyrrolizidine alkaloids such as senecionine, which cause liver damage when ingested, but for the uninitiated, groundsel leaves can be difficult to distinguish from salad rocket.
According to a report by Reuters, the customer spotted the poisonous leaves and alerted the store, which immediately removed the product from its shelves and sent samples to the University of Bonn for analysis, which showed a total of 2500mg of ‘poison’ in 150g of salad.