Real Cause of E. coli Spinach Problem

 

Food-borne illnesses like the E. coli infections caused by contaminated spinach point to major problems with the industrialization of food production, which has created many risks for consumers. Among them, E. coli contamination in spinach and, as a new Finnish study found, Yersinia pseudotuberculosis infection among children in a Finnish town, linked to eating raw carrots.

The problem was a "combination of direct contact with wildlife feces during storage and cross-contamination during washing and peeling." To remedy the problem, experts are calling for (as common sense would indicate) "multiple measures at multiple levels" to change the way produce is grown, harvested, stored, cleaned, packed and shipped. Clearly, mass food production is beginning to show signs of neglect, and that neglect is being passed down to consumers looking to buy fresh produce. A safer, more effective option, as many consumers are beginning to appreciate, is to choose locally grown foods over those that have been mass produced.

The Journal of Infectious Diseases November 2006;194:1209-1216

The Journal of Infectious Diseases November 2006;194:1191-1193

EurekAlert October 3, 2006









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