FDA releases final report on spinach E coli outbreak

first_img Changes in groundwater levels during the 2006 growing season could have contributed to contamination problems on the field, according to the report. In March the ranch’s groundwater levels were higher than the San Benito riverbed, but they fell to the riverbed level in July, and then dropped below the riverbed’s level later in the season. “This potentially allowed surface river water from the river flowing into the Paicines Ranch valley to percolate into the ground again and recharge the groundwater during that period,” the report said. Mar 23, 2007 (CIDRAP News) – The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and California officials released a final report today on last fall’s nationwide Escherichia coli O157:H7 outbreak linked to fresh spinach, tracing the pathogen to a specific farm and identifying a handful of possible contamination sources. FDA final report on E coli outbreak in fresh spinach See also: There, officials found the outbreak strain in river water, cattle feces, and wild-pig feces. A grass-fed cattle operation was located on the ranch, less than a mile from the spinach field, the report says. Investigators found evidence of wild pigs in and around the cattle, growing, and irrigation well areas. San Benito County farm citedDuring the investigation, federal and California officials found the outbreak strain in 13 bags of Dole brand baby spinach and traced the contaminated products to an Aug 15 production run at a Natural Selection Foods facility in San Juan Bautista, Calif., according to the FDA report. Testing at the facility found no samples that matched the outbreak strain. Mandatory oversight?Acheson said the FDA is holding three hearings on issues surrounding tainted produce. He said though good agricultural practices and marketing agreements are the best ways to keep E coli out of produce in the short term, information may come out of the hearings that could build a case for mandatory federal oversight. The outbreak, which occurred in early fall, sickened 205 people and caused three deaths. The spinach grower was marketing products for conventional sale, but the field was being changed into an organic growing area, the report said. Jeff Farrar, food and drug chief of the California Department of Health Services (CDHS), said at a press conference today that the fertilizer used on the field was heat-treated chicken manure pellets. Jan 26 CIDRAP News article “California debates produce safety measures” Reilly said California growers are taking a good first step by signing on to marketing agreements that will be administered by the California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA). Food handlers and producers who join the CFDA marketing agreements vow to accept products only from farmers that follow specific food safety procedures. Products certified by state-authorized inspectors and grown with good agricultural practices can carry an official seal to assure consumers.center_img Investigators traced the product code to four fields in Monterey and San Benito counties, the report says. Though E coli O157:H7 was found in environmental samples on all of the farms, samples that matched the outbreak strain were limited to one farm: the Paicines Ranch in San Benito County. Kevin Reilly, deputy director for prevention services at the CDHS, said that though the 6-month investigation wasn’t able to determine how the E coli got onto the spinach, it was still a success. “This is the first time we’ve found a clear link between an individual with a contaminated product and taken that link down to the farm level,” he said. “In real time, we saw evidence of some of the risk factors coming to fruition.” About 90% of California’s fresh produce companies have expressed an interest in joining the marketing agreement, the details of which are still being formulated, Reilly said. “Industry self-regulation seldom protects consumers and often provides industry with cover when contamination occurs,” she said in her statement. “Simply put, if the leafy green industry ever hopes to regain consumer trust, it must be regulated by an authority other than itself.” The multifaceted problems identified by the investigation point to an urgent need for more research on the microbial ecology of E coli, said David Acheson, MD, chief medical officer for the FDA’s Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition. “We need to find out how the bugs get onto the produce in the first place and how we can prevent that from happening in the future,” he said. Mar 23 FDA press release Elisa Odabashian, director of the Consumers Union’s West Coast office, spoke at the FDA hearing held in Oakland, Calif., on Mar 20. In her comments, posted on the Consumers Union Web site, Odabashian said the marketing agreements taking shape in California lack public input and are heavily influenced by the leafy-greens industry. Consumers Union statement Industry signs on for voluntary changesThe way to reduce the risk of E coli contamination in spinach and other fresh greens is for farms to uniformly adopt established good agricultural practices, Reilly said. “Every farm, every day,” he stressed, adding that food processors must follow good manufacturing practices.last_img read more

MBB : Local recruit Coleman climbs up wish lists with another strong year

first_imgBob McKenney describes DaJuan Coleman’s persona as a quiet self-confidence.As McKenney’s Jamesville-DeWitt boy’s basketball team warmed up prior to its state championship game earlier this year, the head coach McKenney surveyed the scene. He watched as his players went through their typical pregame routine before his eyes fell upon his star big man.‘Is everything all right, DaJuan?’ McKenney asked the 6-foot-8, 290-pound center.‘Let’s just go get it done,’ Coleman said.And Coleman got it done. He scored 22 points and pulled in 16 rebounds to lead Jamesville-DeWitt to its fourth straight Class A state championship, Coleman’s third in three years with the Red Rams.AdvertisementThis is placeholder text‘He just has that quality,’ McKenney said in a phone interview. ‘Let’s just go get it done. We can X and O, talk about this, talk about that, but at the end of the day, we have to go out and play.’Coleman has been one of the most sought-after recruits in the country since he was in eighth grade. He played for Fowler High as a 6-foot-7 eighth-grader before transferring to Jamesville-DeWitt for his freshman year. Coleman has remained among the top prospects in the nation as he has honed his low-post skills and grown into his massive frame. According to Scout.com, he currently has Division I offers from Kansas, Kentucky, Ohio State, West Virginia and Syracuse as he enters his senior year at J-D.‘What stands out is that he is so big and he plays like he’s big,’ said Scout.com national recruiting analyst Brian Snow. ‘I can’t say you’re surprised when you watch him. He’s kind of what you hope for him to be and what you want him to be.’Coleman did not return multiple phone calls, but McKenney said the center has been that typical big man since he first started coaching him as a freshman.Back then, Coleman was still adjusting to his size. Both Snow and McKenney said he wasn’t quite out of shape but he still had some ‘baby fat’ on him. And with his size and inexperience at that point, his game was all power and strength.‘It was a lot of times just overpowering people at that point,’ McKenney said. ‘Now he’s learning to play with a little more finesse and how to use that strength, not have to work quite so hard to get the same shot that he used to get.’But before those skills developed, Coleman took a backseat to senior guards Brandon Triche, now a starter for SU, and Alshwan Hymes, who played in every game for Canisius last year.McKenney said Coleman picked up some of his quiet confidence from Triche. The head coach said the experience of being a secondary option as a freshman helped him stay humble, despite all the attention he received.‘He played his role,’ McKenney said. ‘He could have come in and commanded the ball a lot more than he did, but he just kind of slid in and accepted that he was a freshman playing with two great players.’Triche and Hymes led J-D to a state championship that year. But since then, Coleman has become the main attraction. He demands the ball now on the rare occasion his teammates aren’t feeding him down low.Kentucky head coach John Calipari was at the state championship this year to watch Coleman perform. Scout.com currently ranks Coleman as the No. 3 center in the Class of 2012. He scored 21.7 points per game for the Red Rams last year.Snow said Coleman was ‘definitely college-ready’ and compared him to first-team All-American Jared Sullinger from Ohio State.‘He’s probably not going to come in and put Jared Sullinger numbers up,’ Snow said. ‘But like Jared, he has a college-ready body, a college-ready physique, a college-ready game.‘And he’s going to make an immediate impact on college basketball.’McKenney has watched Coleman grow from that overpowering freshman to the college-ready player Snow described. He said Coleman has put in the time to develop his skills in the paint. And even if the center doesn’t influence the college game immediately through scoring, McKenney believes he will do so through defense and rebounding.But Coleman hasn’t reached his full potential just yet.Coleman did knock down two 3-pointers in the state championship game last year, but McKenney said his perimeter game can get better. Snow said he could add some explosion and improve his footwork.And though Coleman’s potential is intriguing to scouts, he is a top recruit because of his play on the court.‘At the end of the day, it’s about what do you get done,’ Snow said. ‘DaJuan Coleman gets a lot done on the floor to go along with being a good prospect going forward. He’s not shrinking, he’s not getting smaller, so you know he’s always going to have that size and physicality for him to go along with being a super productive player.’zjbrown@syr.edu Facebook Twitter Google+ Published on May 10, 2011 at 12:00 pmcenter_img Commentslast_img read more