Following 2006 E.Coli Outbreak, Farmers are Putting New Food Safety Measures in Place
Over the past year, farmers, wholesalers and food processors have been stepping up their safety measures to avoid another widespread E. Coli outbreak like they saw in 2006. Actions are being taken to remove the risk of leafy lettuce contamination amid fear that animal feces could cause another deadly food poisoning outbreak.
In 2006, California spinach was recalled after it was discovered that the lettuce was contaminated with E. coli O157:H7 bacteria which sickened hundreds of people. E. Coli is typically linked to animal intestinal waste and it can contaminate food if proper standards of agricultural care are not followed.
According to an article in the Wall Street Journal, companies which process fresh produce and food retailers have begun imposing greater restrictions on farmers to reduce the risk of bacteria contaminating the food they sell. Farmers have been clearing fields and using poisons, traps and fences to keep frogs, squirrels and other wildlife away from their leafy greens.
Some of the toughest restrictions have been imposed by the Food Safety Leadership Council, which includes food services companies such as McDonalds, Walt Disney World, Red Lobster, Olive Garden and other well known restaurant chains. They are requiring farmers to reduce the presence of reptiles, insects, birds, rodents or other potential sources of contamination.
E Coli food poisoning lawsuits are often investigated following widespread outbreaks caused by mass produced food.
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