Skip to comments.Congressman's can't find spinach to celebrate its safety - Rep. Sam Farr, D-Carmel
Posted on 10/03/2006 8:08:41 PM PDT by NormsRevenge
A congressman who tried to stage a public spinach-eating news conference to demonstrate that the leafy greens are safe following a nationwide E. coli outbreak scrapped his plan after he couldn't find any in local grocery stores.
Rep. Sam Farr, D-Carmel, used the experience to try to persuade consumers it is safe again to eat spinach from the Salinas Valley, which federal officials targeted in their search for the contaminated spinach that sickened 192 people in 26 states.
"The good news is that spinach is able to be sold in the markets," Farr said. "The bad news is the markets aren't selling it. One of the efforts that we talked about is how do we regain consumer confidence."
On Friday, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration lifted its 2-week-old consumer warning on most fresh spinach. But spinach and spinach-containing products that were recalled by San Juan Bautista-based Natural Selection Foods LLC and four companies it supplied remained subject to the FDA alert Tuesday.
Farr made his remarks in front of an empty bowl he had hoped to fill with spinach. He intended to eat some and feed it to reporters, but said his attempts to buy spinach at local Nob Hill Foods and Albertsons grocery stores were unsuccessful. Both stores had signs that said they weren't selling spinach, according to a Farr aide.
Dave Heylen, a spokesman for the California Grocers Association, said some stores have started restocking their spinach bins while others haven't, either because they haven't been able to get hold of any or are waiting to see if shoppers are interested.
"If people aren't clamoring for it, the stores might be saying, 'Let's wait this out.' Or others might be saying, 'Let's get this on the shelves and it will move,'" Heylen said.
Kevin Reilly, deputy director of the prevention services branch of the California health department, said state inspectors are still looking at nine farms in three counties that supplied Natural Selection Foods. They took E. coli samples from two cattle ranches that adjoin some of the spinach fields that supplied Natural Selection Foods.
Tests to determine whether the contaminated cow dung samples carried the same bacteria strain found in people sickened during the recent outbreak have not been completed, Reilly said. Because E. coli is found in animal and human feces, investigators have been looking at the proximity of livestock to fields and water sources to find out how the spinach got tainted.
Perhaps the Congressman, if had some common sense, would have understood prior given the recent nature of the outbreak that markets are probably cuatious about its re-introduction and aware that customers are equally cautious.
Supermarkets are in the market to make money. The educated guess is that consumers are not ready for the product, and they don't want to lose money carrying a product that won't sell.
I dunno why, but I'm LOL at this sentence. I wonder if he looked up at a camera with big round sad eyes like those starving African children in the charity commercials.
I'm dying for some baby spinach right now. One of my favorite foods on the planet.
SAN FRANCISCO - California officials have discovered E. coli in cattle feces on pastures near farms being investigated as possible sources of spinach contaminated with the bacteria, which caused a nationwide outbreak of food poisoning, a state health officer said Tuesday.
State investigators have obtained eight samples of cattle feces testing positive for E. coli. The samples are being retested to see if their bacteria strain matches the strain in 193 cases of food poisoning, including one confirmed fatality last month, linked to tainted spinach, said Kevin Reilly, a deputy director at the California Department of Health Services.
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