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Old 09-25-2006, 11:51 AM   #11
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So, how do they think it got there -- if it's penetrated the fiber of the plants?
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Old 09-25-2006, 12:24 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChefJune
So, how do they think it got there -- if it's penetrated the fiber of the plants?
It is very tightly attached. And as yet, they don't know the source. Could have been animals in the field, irrigation water contamination. I have heard numerous reports of the processing plants literally being "torn apart" looking for a contamination site.

From a news source for verification:
Apparently, the E. coli is so tightly attached that even washing the spinach does not guarantee you will be protected, according to Robert Brackett, Director, Center for Food Safety and Nutrition.

Preliminary tests indicate the same bacterium is the cause of the outbreak in all the states affected so far. As the FDA is still not completely sure about the source of the outbreak it has made a nationwide warning.

As most spinach is harvested in California at this time of year, authorities have focussed there for the likely source.
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Old 09-25-2006, 02:24 PM   #13
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It seems to me as it comes from the water for the spinach... It may have been in the soil, but bacteria don't crawl upwards to the sun...

It depends on wich strain of E.coli it is, if only a "normal" heating will kill it, if it's one of the endotoxic strains like EHEC, VTEC or anything like that heating makes no sense, as it doesn't kill the toxin.
Freezing has no effect on the Colis, it's no problem for them to come back to life after beeing freezed... although the growing rate below 20°C is very very low and there is no metabolism below freezing point..
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Old 09-25-2006, 02:51 PM   #14
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This is the e.Coli strain that is animal borne and heat does kill it. Your point about the ones that produce the toxins is very well taken. Heat may not inactivate those toxins. For this outbreak they just don't know yet what the source is/was. They have recovered another bag of the spinach however (today, I believe) and hope this will help pinpoint it further.
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Old 09-25-2006, 10:18 PM   #15
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So far - all of the infections and contamination have been identified as E. Coli strain O157:H7 - which comes primarily from feces. So far the source has been narrowed to Santa Clara, San Benito and Monterey counties in California. There was a scientist on one of the news programs yesterday that said that irrigation water might be the culprit since all 3 counties appear to be connected to a common irrigation water source according to her (all are adjacent and inline with each other). See map

Here is the FDA website which I am sure will be continually updated, and here is the latest news release 25 Sept 2006 (includes sources and brand names). If you do a little reading you will see this is not the first E. Coli problem from raw greens grown in California.
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Old 09-25-2006, 10:23 PM   #16
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Thanks Michael - I, personally, am ready for some spinach!
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Old 09-25-2006, 11:23 PM   #17
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One more time... washing does NOT help with the e. coli.
They have to be THOROUGHLY cooked.
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Old 09-25-2006, 11:51 PM   #18
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middie - I will try to stay far, far away from those places it has linked back to. I make pizza with a mix of fresh spinach and arugula as a layer and I miss it!!!!

I said "try" to stay far, far away - I WILL stay far, far away! lol

Thanks for the reminder about washing.
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Old 09-26-2006, 02:09 AM   #19
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In these "troubled times" - I would go with frozen spinach. It is "blanched" for about 3-minutes at a temp above the "kill point" for E. Coli (165-F). Besides, since it seems that all fresh spinach is being pulled from the shelves - that's about your best alternative ... sure beats canned spinach!
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Old 09-26-2006, 06:52 AM   #20
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And they say they may never know the source of this outbreak for absolute certain. Spinach from other areas than these counties has been cleared. The plant that processed it has been cleared of responsibility but I would bet that its reputation is still attached to the outbreak. Too bad.
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