Thursday, September 9, 2010

Bad Lettuce

Since we are on the subject of CAFOs (feedlots), I thought this new info would fit into place here.

E. Coli on Lettuce Likely Came from Feedlot

Analysis of possible sources of the E. coli 0145 infecting romaine lettuce from an Arizona farm has been conducted by Food Safety News. One of the largest feedlots in the country is located about 20 miles from the heart of Arizona's leafy green production in the Gila and Dome valleys. Conditions in the feedlot produce huge volumes of mud, as dirt mixes with manure and water. When dry, hot, windy weather hits, the mud dries, the cattle break down clumps into dust, and the dust blows, often for many miles.

The FDA is pushing ahead with the process of establishing new leafy green safety regulations. The new requirements fail to target the core sources of the problem--sick or stressed cattle shedding E. coli 0157, and other pathogenic strains in their manure. (Acres USA Sept '10)

This is sad (and uncalled for) that the veggies producers lives have now become more regulated because of mismanagement 20 miles away that doesn't have anything to do with them. And the article is right that the new requirements are not addressing the real problem--feedlots. This is the same problem we'll likely have with the recent egg recalls; there is talk of pasteurizing eggs now when all that is required is better management (which will result in downsizing) and better treatment of the animals.

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