Friday, September 15, 2006

Bagged Spinach Warning

Some Interesting News...

U.S. E.coli outbreak is linked to spinach
Thu Sep 14, 2006 9:02pm ET147
Reuters by staff

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - An outbreak of E.coli bacteria that may linked to bagged fresh spinach has killed one person and sickened dozens of others in eight states, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration said on Thursday.

"The FDA is advising consumers not eat bagged fresh spinach at this time and that any individuals who believe they may have experienced symptoms of illness associated with E. coli 0157 contact their health care provider," Dr. David Acheson, head of the FDA's Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition, said in a teleconference with reporters...

Source: U.S. E.coli outbreak is linked to spinach

I use a lot of bagged raw spinach in salads, so I really hate to hear there's a problem. I'm sure I don't hate it nearly as bad as the spinach growers do, though.

When we lived in Bolivia, we had to soak all vegetables and fruits that would be eaten raw because of the use of "night soil" (human excrement) as fertilizer. The soaking solution was 10 drops of iodine to a gallon of water. Before soaking, we washed them thoroughly.

I am not sure what strength of iodine we were using, so please consult your health department before you soak anything and eat it. I think you can also use a tablespoon of bleach to a gallon of water, but here again, I'm not an expert.

I'm not suggesting that night soil has been used in the growing of the spinach sold in bags. E coli contamination could come just from animals passing through the fields.

UPDATE: Feral pigs were probably the source of the contamination. According to an AP story published October 29, 2006, there is evidence that they had broken through the fence to get to the spinach on one of the farms where the contaminated spinach seems to have come from.

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