Review of the 2006 e. coli outbreak associated with spinach
In the fall of 2006, an outbreak of E. coli O157:H7 associated with spinach caused 199 people in 26 states to become ill. The outbreak resulted in 3 deaths and 31 people developed a type of kidney failure called hemolytic-uremic syndrome (HUS). This outbreak is over. Information has been archived for historical purposes on the website of the Centers for Disease Control here.
What Consumers Should Know
The outbreak was declared over October 6, 2006 but this tragedy forever changed the way leafy greens, like spinach, are farmed. As a result of this outbreak, producers of lettuce and leafy greens in California and Arizona created an unprecedented program that brought together farmers and government agencies to enforce stringent food safety practices on leafy greens farms. This program is still in existence today and is known as the Leafy Greens Marketing Agreement (LGMA).
About the Leafy Greens Marketing Agreement
Under the LGMA program:
Farmers are visited regularly by government officials
Government auditors verify that farmers are following 300 different food safety checkpoints
The food safety practices farmers must follow are continually reviewed and updated as more information is learned on how to safety grow lettuce.
Member companies of the LGMA are committed to producing the safest food possible. To learn more about how and why the LGMA was formed in the aftermath of the 2006 outbreak associated with spinach, please watch this video.