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Thursday, September 14, 2006

A PSA Regarding Bagged Spinach

If the recommendation from the Orthodox Union's Guide to Preparing Fruits and Vegetables that bagged spinach "was often found to be infested, sometimes heavily so" with bugs, wasn't enough to get you to stop serving it, this alarming news story might be just the kick in the pants you needed:
An outbreak of E. coli in eight states has left at least one person dead and 50 others sick, federal health officials said Thursday in warning consumers nationwide not to eat bagged fresh spinach.

The death occurred in Wisconsin, where 20 people were made ill, state officials said. The outbreak has sickened others _ eight of them seriously _ in Connecticut, Idaho, Indiana, Michigan, New Mexico, Oregon and Utah, according to federal health officials.

In California, state health officials were investigating a possible case that could be linked to the outbreak and warned consumers not to eat the produce.

FDA officials do not know the source of the outbreak other than it appears to be linked to bagged fresh spinach."We're advising people not to eat it,"said Dr. David Acheson of the Food and Drug Administration's Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition.

So consider this your friendly Erev Shabbat PSA. If you like your Shabbat guests, don't serve them spinach salad for a while.

9 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow, thats scary. Do you think the local supermarkets have been pulling them from the shelves?

11:59 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

nothing wrong with cooked spinach so no reason to pull the bags yet.

10:04 AM  
Blogger SephardiLady said...

Is there a difference between the bagged variety and the plastic box variet of baby spinach?

LOL, spinach salad is on the menu tonight.

12:08 PM  
Blogger Charlie Hall said...

'Do you think the local supermarkets have been pulling them from the shelves?'

I didn't see any at my local Food Emporium last night. And I had been thinking of cooking a spinach lasagna for Shabat!

1:02 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I find it interesting that the orthodox union said that. R' Belsky has said that baby spinach hardly contains any bugs. And I have yet to see a bug from all the bagged spinach I buy, and yet i have once had an iceberg lettuce so buggy that i threw the whole thing out.

And all produce runs the risk of carrying E. Coli. I think a while back it was scallions that were the villian in another outbreak. Next week it will be tomatoes or something.

Plus, I don't really understand the massive trend to hyper check all fruits and veggies. Leaving strawberries in soap? Nixing all kinds of lettuce entirely? No asparagus, califlower, and broccoli besides. Next the OU will be recommending that no one eat any produce. Ever.

1:03 PM  
Blogger Treasure State Jew said...

Or at least wash it?

Produce grows in dirt. It is, therefore, going to be dirty. Whether from your garden or from a bag, a little water will go a long way toward making it safe (and kosher).

3:46 PM  
Anonymous bsci said...

Plus, I don't really understand the massive trend to hyper check all fruits and veggies. Leaving strawberries in soap? Nixing all kinds of lettuce entirely? No asparagus, califlower, and broccoli besides.

It's the rabbis' revenge for being forced to eat their vegetables when they were three. At the rate things are going, the next generation of Orthodox children will think all vegetables come from cans.

4:23 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I did it. I'm the first person to post a message about tomorrow's NYTimes article on Lawrence! (I'll put my acutal thoughts on OM's upcoming post.)

12:34 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hechshers were removed from most bagged salads some time ago because of bugs, weren't they? BTW I heard that cooking doesn't help...

6:42 PM  

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