Spinach E. coli scare felt locally
Fresh spinach will soon be safe to eat since the U. S. Food and Drug Administration traced the nationwide E. coli outbreak to three counties in the Salinas Valley.
Grocery stores recalled spinach products after confirmed reports of E. coli infections were linked to tainted spinach, which also includes spinach grown at ranches in San Benito, Monterey, and Santa Clara counties. The latest count is up to 183 people infected with E. coli in 26 states, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
One person in California has been infected with the outbreak strain, according to the National Center for Infectious Diseases.
Safeway grocery stores throughout the country removed any items containing spinach, said Bob Kleidosty, Truckee Safeway store manager.
“We had a recall,” Kleidosty said. “All spinach is taken off the shelves. Nothing is available.”
The local consumer response about the spinach recall has been “very low key” with no complaints, Kleidosty said. He said Safeway is accepting store returns of any spinach products purchased prior to the E. coli outbreak.
Mark Estee, owner of Moody’s Bistro in Truckee, said people are taking the E. coli scare very seriously. Moody’s gets its spinach from Sierra Valley Farms in Beckwourth, Estee said. Customers have been asking questions about the restaurant’s menu.
“We definitely point out that [the spinach] is Sierra Valley organic,” Estee said. “We’re aware of it.”
The organic spinach is also sold at the Truckee farmers market.
The spinach scare has affected Village Pizzeria in Truckee.
“We are not using spinach on pizzas,” said Nubia Lopez, Village Pizzeria food server.
Lopez said the pizza parlor stopped using spinach about three weeks ago and didn’t know where Village Pizzeria got its spinach supply from. Customers are offered substitute ingredients in place of spinach, she said.
Lopez said the sudden menu change hasn’t come as a surprise, and most customers are not upset with the substitution.
The FDA recommends that any spinach grown outside the Salinas area is safe to eat.
” The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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