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Found in Bagged Salads-Truth!
Summary of the
There are a couple of stories
One warning says that a
documentary on Dateline TV showed that E.coli bacteria were found in
pre-packaged bags of salad and that the Dole company has issued a recall
on some bags.
The other from September of 2006 says the Food and Drug Administration
has issued an alert that a strain of E.coli bacterium has been found in
several U.S. states and that pre-packaged bags of spinach are
The Truth: Both warnings are true.
On September 18, 2006, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration expanded
its warning about spinach, telling consumers not to eat any raw spinach,
not just pre-packaged spinach as had initially been announced.
The FDA also announced that it's probe into the sources of spinach
contaminated with a strain of E.coli bacterium had been expanded to
On September 15, 2006, the
FDA had announced that Natural Selection Foods of San Juan Bautista,
California was recalling all of its products that contain spinach that
have "best if used by" dates of August 17, 2006 through
October 1, 2006
The FDA is continuing to investigate whether any other brands are
According to an FDA release, "Natural Selection Foods, LLC brands
include: Natural Selection Foods, Pride of San Juan, Earthbound Farm,
Bellissima, Dole, Rave Spinach, Emeril, Sysco, O Organic, Fresh Point,
River Ranch, Superior, Nature’s Basket, Pro-Mark, Compliments, Trader
Joe’s, Ready Pac, Jansal Valley, Cheney Brothers, Coastline,
D’Arrigo Brothers, Green Harvest, Mann, Mills Family Farm, Pro*Act,
Premium Fresh, Snoboy, The Farmer’s Market, Tanimura & Antle,
President’s Choice, Cross Valley, and Riverside Farms. These products
include spinach and any salad with spinach in a blend, both retail and
food service products. Products that do not contain spinach are not part
of this recall."
The FDA said that 109 cases of illness had been reported to the Centers
for Disease Control including one death and 14 cases of what is called
Hemolytic Uremic Syndrome (HUS), a form of kidney failure.
States included in the warning include: California, Connecticut, Idaho,
Indiana, Kentucky, Maine, Michigan, Minnesota, Nevada, New Mexico, New
York, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Utah, Virginia, Washington,
Wisconsin, and Wyoming. The FDA said the affected products were also
distributed to Canada and Mexico.
The other story was focused on Minneapolis, Minnesota. The Dateline show aired
in April, 2006. When more
than 10 cases of sick people with similar symptoms showed up within
three days in September, 2005, a public health investigation was
launched. The Minnesota Department of Public Health speculated
that the sicknesses were food-related. One of the investigators
suspected E.coli because of the symptoms of abdominal cramps and severe,
bloody diarrhea. The problem was that E.coli poisoning was more
commonly associated with eating contaminated and improperly cooked
meat. One of the foods that most of the sick people had eaten was
salads made from bagged lettuce. When a public health warning was issued
about the salads, one of the victims called investigators from his
hospital room and said he still had a partially-eaten bag in his
refrigerator. That lettuce was tested and became the first
evidence that the E.coli had come from the pre-packaged salads.
The odd thing was that the bacterium was found in the lettuce, not just
As a result of that 2005 outbreak, the Dole company issued a voluntary
recall for the "American Blend" and "Classic
Romaine" packaged salads. The U.S. Food and Drug
Administration also issued a nationwide health alert in October, 2005,
about the particular Dole salads implicated in the outbreak.
According to Dateline, 26 people from
three states got ill, some of them seriously. There were no known
deaths and there have not been any repeats of the problem.
A real example of the
eRumor as it has appeared on the Internet:
NBC Dateline did a documentary on cut-up lettuce and spinach
packaged in plastic bags. They took us through the whole process and
talked about how the Ecoli bacteria is now showing up in the salad mix
in bags. They don't know yet how the Ecoli got in, but they do know that
deaths and serious sicknesses are occurring in many states.
One woman told about how her child was near death from
the lettuce and was sick for a long time. They warned us not to buy any
bag salads until they find out from the investigation what is causing
The Dole Company has recalled their bags. See the link
Please pass this one on...and perhaps save someone's
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