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E-coli Outbreak Hurts Regional Spinach Sales

Cathy Duchamp
09/19/2006

Washington State has a second confirmed case of e-coli linked to fresh spinach. Northwest farmers who grow salad greens say they're suffering too. That's because the Food and Drug Administration continues to warn people NOT to each fresh spinach of any kind. Correspondent Cathy Duchamp reports.

25 YEAR OLD BRETT BLAIR MANAGES WILLIE GREEN'S ORGANIC FARM IN MONROE, WASHINGHTON. WE CALLED HIM ON HIS CELL PHONE WHILE HE WALKED HIS FIELDS:

BLAIR:" I'm actually looking at about 2 thousands pounds of spinach right now, that is waiting to be consumed by somebody."

... BUT MAY NOT BE, BECAUSE NONE OF HIS WHOLESALERS WILL BUY IT.

BLAIR: "I think the fear is out there and the FDA has made a generalized claim on what to buy when they really know what the cause is."

THE FDA ADMITS THAT ALL EVIDENCE POINTS TO E-COLI CONTAMINATION AT FARMS IN THE SALINAS VALLEY AREA OF CALIFORNIA - NOT IN THE PACIFIC NORTHWEST. BUT THE AGENCY'S FOOD SAFETY PHYSICIAN DAVID ACHESON SAYS HE DOESN'T WANT TO RUSH TO THAT CONCLUSION.

ACHESON: "Part of what you're seeing here is an investigation unfolding on a daily basis, and as we learn more its getting narrow we hope, but there is a lot of records a lot of testing that still need to be done. "

MEANWHILE, FARMERS WHO GROW SPINACH IN THE NORTHWEST WAIT… LEAVING THEIR CROPS IN THE FIELD AT THE HEIGHT OF HARVEST SEASON. I'M CATHY DUCHAMP REPORTING.

℗ Copyright 2006, KUOW News

06.22.18

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