Congressmen Host 'Spinach Is Back' Salad Bar on Capitol Hill
Washington, D.C. - In an effort to raise awareness that its safe to eat fresh spinach again, Rep. Sam Farr (D-Calif.) and Rep. Wayne Gilchrest (R-Md.) hosted a "Spinach Is Back" Congressional luncheon with a number of administration and public health officials last week.
Several federal officials, including U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Mike Johanns and his wife Stephanie, and Food and Drug Administration director of the Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition Robert Brackett, were among the more than 300 congressional leaders and agency staffers who eat fresh spinach salads topped with fresh mushrooms, eggs, and assorted dressings at the event.
Rep. Farr said he thought of the idea of a "Spinach Is Back" salad bar during a recent trip to the Salinas Valley to meet with growers and processors in his district. "Despite the fact that authorities agree it is safe to eat fresh spinach, there has been less fanfare associated with spinach's return to grocers' shelves than there was about its voluntary recall in September," Farr said. "We intend to change that."
In remarks at the lunch, Secretary Johanns and FDA's Brackett reaffirmed that the E. coli scare was over and emphasizing the healthfulness of spinach.