Tainted Spinach Leads More Oversight Of Farms, Packaging Plants - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

9/19/06-Washington, D.C.

Tainted Spinach Leads More Oversight Of Farms, Packaging Plants

The cleanliness of fresh produce is drawing new attention amid reports that tainted spinach has been found in 21 states, killing at least one person and sickening more than 100 others.

But unlike beef, which is subject to government inspection, the government relies primarily on voluntary safety steps by farmers and packagers of leafy vegetables to prevent outbreaks. Leafy vegetables are the second leading source of E-coli infections in the U-S, behind ground beef.

Some consumer groups believe the government should do more to regulate farming and packaging, including the quality of water used for irrigation, the application of manure and sanitary facilities used by workers.

The U-S food supply is governed by a complex system administered by 15 agencies.

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Posted By 6pm News Producer Kelly Hefelfinger khefelfinger@kltv.com

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