Commentary from the International Food Safety Network Douglas Powell
Spinach and lettuce is once again being harvested in California and it’s as safe as it was before the food poisoning outbreaks of last fall. Or 2005. Or after any of the other 29 leafy green outbreaks over the past 15 years.
But there is some hope that the safety of leafy greens will improve. And it has nothing to do with calls for government inspections, new technology, or even pledges by growers to be extra super special careful.
The final report on the fall 2006 outbreak of E. coli O157:H7 in spinach, which sickened 205 and killed three, has come and gone, interesting those in the business but largely a yawn to the salad-eating public — a public that is skeptical and is buying 20-to-30 per cent less of the leafy green stuff than a year ago.