View Full Version : E. Coli in Bagged Spinach

09-15-2006, 10:43 AM
In my effort to eat better, I bought some bagged spinach which I've been using in sandwiches and salads in lieu of lettuce. Now this:


Time to throw the bag away!! (Thank God my little one refused to eat it!)

09-15-2006, 10:46 AM
Yikes - thanks for the link.

09-17-2006, 07:42 PM
One death in Wisconsin from this, plus many ill. My neighboring state. Scary!! :eek: :eek: I had a bag of fresh spinach in the frig, fortunately not yet opened. Disposed of immediately! Dam#! I LIKE fresh baby spinach in salads and on sandwiches. I'm sure the problem will be taken care of, but the perception of spinach as a danger will remain long after the problem is resolved. :(


09-17-2006, 08:47 PM
I also read that it can take up to nine days for the symptoms to show, which is slightly troublesome to me since I've already consummed half of my bag of baby spinach. But, I'm pretty positive I should be fine since I actually cooked it in some black bean soup...not at a really high temperature, but I did cook it long enough to "melt" it down some.

09-18-2006, 04:02 AM
Last I heard, organic spinach was not involved.

They're saying that even fresh spinach should not be eaten. I bought 2 bunches because I couldn't buy the bagged kind. Had to toss it. Bummer.

Anybody else suffering from spinach withdrawals? All I want is sauteed spinach with pine nuts & garlic. They say that cooking kills the e.coli, but I won't chance it.

09-18-2006, 05:20 AM
What about frozen spinach? Does freezing kill the little boogers?

There's always canned. ug. Not my favorite, but ok.

09-18-2006, 07:04 AM
Oh, man, we are going through spinach withdrawals at our house! We love the bagged baby spinach to toss on sandwiches, mix in with the red leaf, the romaine or green leaf lettuce for salads. I wanted to add some to a pot of lentils, but was even dicey about using the frozen stuff.

I'm in the same boat as KYet, can we use the frozen stuff? Not exactly my favorite, but I'll still use it.

09-18-2006, 07:22 AM
Last I heard, organic spinach was not involved.

Unfortunately, that is definitely not true. The main producer involved is Earthbound Farms, which sells organic as well as conventional salad mixes to grocery stores and restaurants under a whole bunch of brand names. Earthbound Farms stuff is sold at our local grocery stores as well as at the food co-ops, and it is all tagged as "organic."

09-18-2006, 07:44 AM
The NYtimes says frozen spinach is not implicated (right now)...
NY Times article (http://www.nytimes.com/2006/09/18/us/18spinach.html?_r=1&ref=us&oref=slogin)

Another article I read said that cooked spinach should be heated to 160F to kill any bacteria, but right now they are recommending that people discard their spinach (what a waste...can it be composted?)

This morning's news said that bagged spinach with sell by dates between August and early October are what appear to be from the affected batch. I would guess that most frozen spinach had been picked, cooked and processed before that time. However some markets are pulling all spinach products, even dip (they don't want to chance any lawsuits).

09-18-2006, 09:10 AM
Last I heard, organic spinach was not involved.

Just heard on the radio the FDA has not confirmed that. It was announced by the spinach company...

09-18-2006, 09:21 AM
The latest FDA news release.

Actually, Earthbound Farms is only one of the brands owned by Natural Selections LLC which has recalled all of its spinach under all of its brands.

09-18-2006, 10:23 AM
Not sure about the other states yet, but here in Wisconsin, they've pulled EVERYTHING off the shelves :( I went to Pick N Save yesterday and usually I get spinach, but was ready to get regular lettuce and they pulled that too!!!! There were signs up saying they were pulling all spinach items off the shelves (understandable), but also the items that were shipped with the spinach. i guess it's better to be safe than sorry, but man I wanted a salad so bad!!!!


Roshelle from Milwaukee

09-18-2006, 10:51 AM
This article (http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2006/05/03/FDGVTIIND31.DTL) does a pretty good job of showing how confusing the whole issue of who, how, and where your produce comes from is. It's about Earthbound Farms, which started as a husband and wife organization but now sells to everyone under that Natural Selection label:

Their company is now the biggest organic produce grower and shipper in the United States and one of the biggest organic companies in the country, with $450 million in sales this year. Its bags and plastic tubs of spring mix and other greens are everywhere -- from Whole Foods to Safeway to Costco.

That total includes a substantial amount of conventional salad greens grown and bagged by Earthbound, and sold to food service companies or under its Natural Selection label. The conventional part of their business will grow with Earthbound's recent purchase of its neighbor, Pride of San Juan, which will push total production to 40 million servings of salad this year alone.

Outside the San Juan Bautista plant, Earthbound fields hopscotch with other growers' conventional fields. Late rains and cold weather meant the spinach was only 3 inches high the third week of April, and Earthbound was still trucking produce from its fields in Mexico, Arizona and Southern California. A second huge plant in Yuma, used in winter, had shut down in early March.

I was really surprised to find out that the stuff that is sold at the food co-op is produced right alongside the stuff that is sold under the Dole label.

09-18-2006, 06:37 PM
Hi all,
I'm a produce grower who markets entirely locally, directly to consumers, and I thought this would be a good time to put in a plug for buying locally. The folks at your local Farmers' Market, CSA, or roadside stand likely have fresh greens, and their production is separate from the mainstream food system. Most growers will be happy to answer questions about their growing and washing methods.

Could be a good time to start a relationship with a farm in your area!

09-20-2006, 10:40 AM
Great reminder about buying local! In Texas, my favorite bestest store, Central Market, also pulled every leaf of spinach out of the store and my withdrawals are NOT being satisfied by green leaf lettuce or swiss chard, but I'm trying. I buy other things from a local market, but will stop today to see if they have spinach!

09-21-2006, 04:01 AM
Thanks for the reminder! In Tucson, we don't have a lot of local growers, unless you enjoy eating cactus! There are some, though, and I'm going to start hitting my farmers' markets.

Anybody else wonder about that stuff in bags anyway? I mean, sometimes it would smell "off" after a day or two and I would toss it. I used the bags for convenience, but always wondered how they were really processed. That and carrots - sometimes you get the peeled kind & they are slimey. What's up with that?

Bike Goddess
09-21-2006, 01:31 PM
While we wish it was only happening with spinach, what I now hear is that the water in the Salinas valley area is tainted. Wonder what the implications are for that little bit of news might be? It seems the growers in that region have been cited multiple times in the past few years for having contaminted crops (not just spinach).

09-22-2006, 02:39 AM
While we wish it was only happening with spinach, what I now hear is that the water in the Salinas valley area is tainted. Wonder what the implications are for that little bit of news might be? It seems the growers in that region have been cited multiple times in the past few years for having contaminted crops (not just spinach).

My recollection is that Salinas Valley is quite a large area for growing a lot of crops - am I correct?