is this what is in reference:
FDA Finalizes Report on 2006 Spinach Outbreak
Because the contamination occurred before the start of the investigation, and because of the many ways that E.coli O157:H7 can be transferred -- including animals, humans, and water -- the precise means by which the bacteria spread to the spinach remain unknown.
and that's from the "final report"
and in terms of the absolute best "So glad to hear you've stopped beating you wife" headliners:
Although washing produce would not have prevented the recent E-coli outbreak involving spinach, washing can reduce the risk of contamination from some other causes. FDA advises consumers that all produce should be thoroughly washed before eating.
so, how it got there is "unknown" - but washing would not have helped.
your tax dollars hard at work.
this list details the twisted history:
Spinach and E. coli Outbreak
2006.11.15: CDC Food Safety Activities and the Recent E.coli Spinach Outbreak
details congressional testimony. it says in part
A better understanding is needed of the mechanisms by which leafy greens become contaminated so contamination can be interrupted.
don't get me wrong, I'm not in denial - but I have seen no scientifically validated information that plants absorb e. coli. all the real science points to surface contamination. washing / rinsing is good, it that sufficient? don't know.
I do however have serious issues with (loosely defined) "journalists" taking a sentence from here, half a paragraph from there, a couple words from somewhere else and spinning it into a "The Sky Is Falling" headline.