Sunday, February 24, 2008

Know where your food comes from (Part VII)...

One of the complaints frequently leveled at industrial agriculture is it obscures the origin of our food.

Maybe not.
The tainted lettuce that sickened 80 people in the Midwest in 2006 came from a Kern County farm located next to two dairies, state and federal authorities have found.

The lettuce, which was contaminated with E. coli bacteria, was grown at Wegis Ranch in Buttonwillow, according to a joint report by the U.S. Federal Drug Administration and the California Department of Public Health. The report was released Feb. 15.

The victims had all eaten at one of two Taco John's restaurants in Iowa and Minnesota in November and December 2006. Bacteria were found in the lettuce, and authorities were able to trace the produce to California.

From there, investigators focused on two possible locations of the contamination, and lab tests showed the exact strain of E. coli found in the lettuce matched samples found at Wegis Ranch as well as the nearby dairies. [More]
Technology is going to make sure that we know where everything comes from. It will be interesting to see how local all local food actually is when that occurs.

You can run, but you can't hide [in the produce section, anyway].

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