Preventing and controlling pathogens on produce
Spinach's healthy reputation suffered a severe blow this fall. On Sept. 13, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta learned that the raw leafy green was the prime suspect in a spate of virulent Escherichia coli infections. The next day, the Food and Drug Administration advised consumers not to eat any bagged fresh spinach. Two weeks later, the FDA announced that it had traced the tainted greens to one California company that bags spinach under several brand names. Fresh spinach from other suppliers soon began reappearing on store shelves and dinner plates. The outbreak's toll, according to the CDC: 3 deaths and more than 200 people sickened in 26 states and 1 Canadian province.