The Huffington Post today announced its list of the ten worst product recalls of all time.  The food recalls include melamine-tainted milk, worm-infested chocolates, and of course the September 2006 E. coli O157:H7 (and other serotypes) outbreak linked to Dole baby spinach.  The spinach outbreak was among the most devastating outbreaks ever to occur in this country. 

2006 Spinach Outbreak:  a short summary:

Official word of the spinach outbreak broke with the FDA’s announcement, on September 14, 2006, that a number of E. coli O157:H7 illnesses across the country “may be associated with the consumption of produce.” “Preliminary epidemiological evidence suggests,” the statement continued, “that bagged fresh spinach may be a possible cause of this outbreak.” By the date of the announcement, fifty cases had been reported to the CDC, including eight cases of hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS) and one death. States reporting illness included Connecticut, Idaho, Indiana, Michigan, New Mexico, Oregon, Utah, and Wisconsin.

The much-publicized outbreak grew substantially over the next several days. By September 15, the FDA had confirmed 94 cases of illness, including fourteen cases of HUS and, sadly, one death. Recognizing the lethality of the developing outbreak, the FDA’s September 15 release warned people should “not eat fresh spinach or fresh spinach containing products.” Continue Reading Spinach recall among Huffington Post’s worst product recalls of all time

 The 2000 movie called “The Perfect Storm” loosely chronicled the destruction of an Atlantic nor’easter that formed due to the random convergence of several destructive weather patterns. Twelve people died in the storm, including six sword fishermen aboard the Andrea Gail (captained by George Clooney’s in the movie). Today is September 14, 2009, marking three

Grimmway Enterprises, Inc., a carrot producer in Bakersfield, California is suing a neighboring sheep farmer afer the sheep entered Grimmway’s property.  The sheep grazed on Grimmway crops, but more importantly, they did what sheep do – they defecated.  Out of resulting concern for possible E. coli O157:H7 contamination, Gimmway destroyed an alleged 75 acres of crops.


Most of the time when we’re writing about, reading about, or representing people for illnesses suffered in an E. coli O157:H7 outbreak related to produce, we’re looking at things retrospectively.  An outbreak of E. coli O157:H7 happened, we know it was linked to lettuce, spinach, or some other type of fresh, raw produce, but we

A Salinas Valley spinach grower recalled bagged spinach products today after Salmonella was detected in some of the company’s products.  Metz Fresh of King City, California, released the following information about the recall, which was published in the Westfall Daily News:

The recalled spinach was distributed throughout the 48 states and Canada and sold

Don't Eat PoopCommentary 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.Continue Reading Don’t eat poop — and other lessons from spinach

spinachCBS 3 News reports that health officials have confirmed a case of E. coli in the city of Philadelphia. The announcement comes after a nationwide alert concerning tainted spinach.

CBS 3’s Medical Reporter Stephanie Stahl spoke with an official from the Pennsylvania State Health Department who reports there is a positive case of E. coli.