Could the Spinach Scare Happen Again?
alaaron | September 23, 2006 at 02:40 amby
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A week after the first cases were called into the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), health officials have finally found what they believe could be the smoking gun in the 23-state outbreak of spinach-related E. coli poisoning. Until Wednesday, investigators at the CDC and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) had only suspected that fresh, bagged spinach had caused nearly 150 people to fall ill, and led to one death, from the bacterial infection. Researchers had not been able to trace the bacteria to fresh spinach until they tested one of several opened bags of the leafy vegetable from the homes of sickened people. DNA fingerprinting confirmed not only the presence of E. coli, but also linked the bacteria found on the spinach to the same ones isolated from patients. This new information allowed health officials to trace the source of the outbreak to three produce-growing counties in California: Monterey, San Benito and Santa Clara.
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