What a Massive Spinach Recall Teaches Us About Food Safety

Interesting read from Time. Working on consumer protection I’ve come to realize how just how connected our food system is. A single problem at one facility can affect hundreds of thousands of products. It’s one of the reason why i like to buy directly from farms and take out the middle man. It shortens the supply chain a bit and offers quick accountability.

And ya know…buy local, support local farms and all that good stuff.


Over the past two weeks, grocery stores in every region of the United States and Canada have been taking frozen organic spinach—and a host of products ranging from frozen dinners to spinach dip—off their shelves. All the spinach in question, which may have been contaminated with Listeria, comes from a single California-based vegetable processing company.

No illnesses have been reported, but the massive recall has affected about half a dozen companies including Amy’s Kitchen and Rising Moon Organics and major retailers, among them, Target, Costco, Wegmans, and Giant Eagle. For many, it brings to mind the infamous E. coli recall that rocked the U.S. produce industry, killed three people, and sickened 205 in 2006. And it raises the question: Has our food gotten any safer in the past nine years?

“That outbreak was a watershed for the fresh produce industry. Not just leafy greens but all produce,” says

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