Investigation Found Little Done To Improve Leafy Green Inspections - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Investigation Found Little Done To Improve Leafy Green Inspections

SALINAS, Calif. (AP) - Last year's E.coli outbreak from spinach prompted calls for better inspection of leafy greens.

But an Associated Press investigation has found that government regulators never acted on those calls.

Regulations governing farms in the central California region known as the nation's "Salad Bowl" remain largely unchanged.

Processors in California, which grows three-quarters of the nation's greens, created a new inspection system -- but the guidelines are voluntary.

Three people were killed and more than 200 sickened after bacteria from a cattle ranch infected spinach.

The AP has found that since last year's outbreak, California public health inspectors have yet to spot-test for bacteriological contamination at any processing plants handling leafy greens.

AP's review of data obtained through the freedom of information act found that federal officials inspect companies growing and processing salad greens an average of just once every 3.9 years.

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