spinach E. coli outbreak

Salinas ValleyThe Wall Street Journal reports that federal regulators were investigating produce farming and packaging conditions in California’s Salinas Valley long before a company there was linked last week to a spinach-related E. coli outbreak. But their food-safety concerns extend beyond California to include farm areas in other states such as Arizona.

"We are bothered by what’s happening," said Robert E. Brackett, director of the Food and Drug Administration’s Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition. "All it takes is contamination at one time and it’s distributed to many people, and it becomes amplified."

As of yesterday, 109 cases, including one fatality, had been reported from 19 states, said David Acheson, the center’s chief medical officer. Salinas Valley, dubbed "the world’s salad bowl," has received the most attention only because of its size, Dr. Brackett said. Since 1995, the area was linked to at least eight of 19 E. coli outbreaks related to fresh-cut lettuce or spinach. But none of those outbreaks has been traced back to a specific grower, he said.

Continue Reading Food-safety concerns extend beyond California

Justin Norton of the Associated Press reports that the number of people sickened by an E. coli outbreak traced to tainted spinach rose to 109 on Sunday, as federal officials announced more brands recalling their products.

Meanwhile, the company linked to the outbreak, Natural Selection Foods LLC, announced that its work with federal and state

bagged saladPer a Michigan State University Press Release, bagged salads might be a gamble not worth taking. Think of bagged salads as a game of chance – one in which the odds are stacked against you.

Prewashed packaged vegetables, like the spinach that is the focus of the recent outbreak of E. coli, always have been viewed with suspicion from experts in foodborne illness because it’s a packaging system that inherently increases the risk of spreading germs.

Thomas Whittam, Michigan State University Hannah Distinguished Professor of microbial evolution, said the combination of E. coli’s durability and power – as few as 10 cells can cause illness – with a mixture of produce creates the potential for a veritable stew of food poisoning. 

Continue Reading Bagged salads a gamble not worth taking, expert says

spinach E. coli outbreakThe Associated Press reports that a teenage girl from Kentucky is being treated at Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville after she ate spinach and was sickened by E.coli bacteria.

The girl is 17 and is from Paducah, said Gwenda Bond, spokeswoman for the Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services. The girl could not

Roundy'sOne Wisconsin grocery retailer has taken action after reports of tainted spinach linked to a deadly E. coli outbreak. Milwaukee based Roundy’s has 143 Copps, Pick n Save and Rainbow Foods stores in Wisconsin and Minnesota.

The company has voluntarily pulled all pre-packaged fresh spinach and tossed salads containing spinach in light of the