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

India vs England: India take on England in the series decider today

first_imgAdvertisement Advertisement(Image Courtesy: Sportskeeda)India take on England in the third and final ODI at Leeds today. With the series poised at 1-1, the winner will walk away with the series.The 3 match series has so far given us so much entertainment. The first match saw the visitors come out on top with first class performances from Kuldeep and Rohit Sharma.The second match which was played at the iconic Lord’s stadium saw England cruise home after they defended their total of 322 to take the series to the final game.With both teams evenly poised it’ll be interesting to see which team will come on top. India and England will be having one eye on the 2019 world cup as they look to work on their weaknesses. India will look for significant contributions from their middle order while England will look to keep the opener Shikhar Dhawan quiet.England start the match as favorites after ticking most of the boxes in the 2nd ODI. They’ll also be energized after seeing Joe Root’s score a spectacular century after his recent dip in form.But beside all this the weather is also expected to play a part in the match with thunderstorms expected.India’s assistant coach Sanjay Bangar has hinted that Bhuvneshwar Kumar could play a part in the game. If that is to happen then Siddharth Kaul will have to sit out. England on the other hand have called up James Vince and Sam Billings as back up for the injured Roy. If Roy fails to pass his medical test then replacement will be lined up.Here are the probable teams for the match:India: Shikhar Dhawan, Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli, KL Rahul, MS Dhoni, Suresh Raina, Hardik Pandya, Kuldeep Yadav, Umesh Yadav, Yuzvendra Chahal, Bhuvneshwar Kumar/Siddarth Kaul.England:Jason Roy/James Vince, Jonny Bairstow, Joe Root, Eoin Morgan, Jos Buttler, Ben Stokes, Moeen Ali, David Willey, Adil Rashid, Liam Plunkett, Mark WoodThe match is set to start at 5 PM IST with telecast on Sony Six and Sony Ten 3.Also Read:India vs. England: Key player may stay back with the squad for test serieslast_img read more

Take Our Poll

first_imgTake Our PollBoston’s plastic bag ordinance went into effect December 14, banning plastic bags at check-out counters across the city. Retailers are now transitioning to paper, compostable or reusable bags that customers can purchase for a minimum of 5 cents. The purpose of the ban is to reduce plastic waste in the oceans and on our city streets. Consumers can avoid the bag charge by bringing their own reusable bag.While most people seem in favor of reducing waste to help the environment, some concerns raised at the December North End / Waterfront Residents’ Association meeting included the burden this puts on consumers, particularly in a city where people walk places so cannot stash a pile of bags in their cars, who may stop in a store unexpectedly and will not have a bag with them.How has the plastic bag ban been going for you? Have you found the transition easy or are you now constantly paying for bags at check-out? Vote in our poll and add your comments in the section below.*Advertisement* How Is the Plastic Bag Ban Going? (Poll Closed) Eh, it’s fine – sometimes I forget a bag, but I’m working on remembering to bring one.  43.26%  (93 votes)     It’s a pain – I keep having to purchase bags at check-out.  28.84%  (62 votes)     It’s easy – I bring a reusable bag with me wherever I go!  27.9%  (60 votes)       Total Votes: 215   Note: Web polls are unscientific and reflect only those who choose to participate. NorthEndWaterfront.com polls do not have any official significance and are only intended for the interest of our readers.last_img read more