Sunday, February 4, 2007

E.Coli Has Shaken Consumer Confidence in Leafy Green Vegetables

Article in the Chicago Tribune -- Consumers Still Worried About E. Coli, by Janet Frankston Lorin of the Associated Press:

September's national spinach recall has shaken consumer confidence in the safety of leafy green vegetables, according to a new national survey.

Consumers are still avoiding greens and questioning safety issues, months after spinach contaminated with E. coli bacteria killed three people and sickened nearly 200.

Plummeting spinach sales have also prompted the produce industry to seek federal oversight to assure buyers that fresh produce is safe.

"We need to be in front of this to maintain consumer confidence," said Tom Stenzel, president of the United Fresh Produce Association, a leading trade group. "Consumers need to eat fresh produce and feel safe in their choices," he said.

A new national survey to be released Monday by Rutgers University suggests that the broad recall could have lasting effects on spinach and other similar vegetables. As a result, consumers felt uncertain and threw away other bagged produce that was not affected by the recall.


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