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University of Arizona researchers seek safer vegetables

University of Arizona researchers seek safer vegetables

Thirty-three people from five states were infected and nearly half of those were hospitalized in late 2012 after consuming spinach and bagged spring mix salads contaminated with E. coli. Preventive efforts are under way to reduce the occurrence of similar situations. Irrigation water is one of many potential avenues how food can become contaminated.

Thirty-three people from five states were infected and nearly half of those were hospitalized in late 2012 after consuming spinach and bagged spring mix salads contaminated with E. coli.

The contaminated salads originated from a plant in Massachusetts.

There were nine outbreaks of foodborne illnesses in the U.S. last year, and one of five outbreaks associated with soil-grown produce, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Preventive efforts are under way to reduce the occurrence of similar situations.

“If you’re going to grow products that will be consumed by humans you need to have a food safety program,” said JV Farms food safety director Fatima Corona.

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