The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and California's Department of Health Services (CDHS) today released a joint report on an extensive investigation into the causes of an E.coli O157:H7 outbreak last fall that was associated with contaminated Dole brand Baby Spinach and resulted in 205 confirmed illnesses and three deaths. The inquiry was conducted by the California Food Emergency Response Team (CalFERT), a team of experts from FDA's district office in San Francisco and CDHS. They were assisted by experts from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service of the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
The investigators successfully identified the environmental risk factors and the areas that were most likely involved in the outbreak, but they were unable to definitely determine how the contamination originated.
We don't know, does not satisfy me and their list is politically correct.
The next focus of the inquiry was the source of the spinach in 13 bags containing E.coli O157:H7 isolates that had been collected nationwide from sick customers. Using the product codes on the bags, and employing DNA fingerprinting on the bacteria from the bags, the investigators were able to match environmental samples of E.coli O157:H7 from one field to the strain that had caused the outbreak. Potential environmental risk factors for E.coli O157:H7 contamination at or near the field included the presence of wild pigs, the proximity of irrigation wells used to grow produce for ready-to-eat packaging, and surface waterways exposed to feces from cattle and wildlife.
Because the contamination occurred before the start of the investigation, and because of the many ways that E.coli O157:H7 can be transferred -- including animals, humans, and water -- the precise means by which the bacteria spread to the spinach remain unknown.
So, they do not know, but illegal aliens working in those fields could not be the source? I am not saying it is illegal aliens, but it certainly could be. They come from a culture of poor personal hygiene and in Mexico, it has been reported that they defecate in the irrigation ditches. But we won't even consider that possibility, so we can do nothing about educating the farmers on how to teach their field hands proper hygiene and to use the porta potties that they must provide for x amount of workers.
All I know is that in this day and age our food supply has become unsafe. I want to know what has changed?
The report on the probe of the Dole spinach contamination, titled: Investigation of an Escherichia coli O157:H7 Outbreak Associated with Dole Pre-Packaged Spinach, is posted at http://www.DHS.ca.gov.