Last year, a deadly contamination of spinach by E. coli bacteria led to the death of 3 people and more than 200 sick. Following the outbreak there were widespread calls for better testing of companies handling leafy greens. That hasn’t happened, though; State inspectors in California have not been given authority to conduct better inspections, and federal inspections are at the same pre-outbreak rate; that is, an average of one inspection each 3.9 years. According to Caoline Smith DeWaal, Director of Food SAfety for the Center for Science in the Public Interest, the inspection program is ineffective, and farmers are not using food safety plans that effectively control pathogens.
For more information on this subject matter, please refer to the section on Defective and Dangerous Products.