Claim: The FDA has advised consumers to not eat fresh spinach or fresh spinach-containing products until further notice.
Status: Was true; warning has since been lifted.
Origins: On 14 September 2006, the FDA issued a national alert about
spinach was the vehicle of distribution in the September 2006 outbreak that has so far resulted in
The FDA advised the public in mid-September not to eat fresh spinach or fresh spinach-containing products until further notice, but they have since narrowed that warning to apply only to spinach from processing plants and farms in three California counties: San Benito, Santa Clara and Monterey. Consumers may now safely buy and eat fresh spinach provided they can verify that it was grown in an area other than those three California counties. Frozen and canned spinach should also be safe to eat. (Fresh spinach from the three implicated California counties should be avoided for now, whether or not it is bagged, and regardless of how thoroughly it may have been washed. This advisory also applies to any mixed salad products with spinach in their blends.)
The specific source of contamination for the September 2006
Natural Selection Foods, Pride of San Juan, Earthbound Farm, Bellissima, Dole, Rave Spinach, Emeril, Sysco,
O Organic,Fresh Point, River Ranch, Superior, Nature’s Basket, Pro-Mark,Compliments, Trader Joe’s, Ready Pac, Jansal Valley, Cheney Brothers, D’Arrigo Brothers Co. of New York, Green Harvest, Mann, Mills Family Farm, Premium Fresh, Snoboy, The Farmer’s Market, Tanimura & Antle, President’s Choice, Cross Valley, and Riverside Farms.
The affected products were also distributed to Canada, Mexico, Taiwan, Hong Kong and Iceland. FDA says it is continuing to investigate whether other companies and brands are involved.
Natural Selection Foods recalled all of its spinach-containing products with “Best if Used by Dates” between
Although no cases of illness have been linked to their products, River Ranch Fresh Foods (based in Salinas, California), has also recalled three of their spring mix salad brands that contain spinach: Farmers Market, Hy Vee, and Fresh and Easy.
Last updated: 1 October 2006