Spinach at Santa Monica farmers markets, as well as any fresh spinach grown locally, was given the “all clear” by the federal Centers for Disease Control (CDC) Monday, September 25th.
The latest update from the CDC on the E. coli outbreak advises consumers to not eat any fresh spinach grown in Monterey, San Benito or Santa Clara counties.
Frozen or canned spinach can be safely eaten.
Fresh spinach grown outside these counties can be safety eaten, according to the CDC advisory.
“We do not have any farmers from San Benito, Santa Clara or Monterey counties,” said Laura Avery, supervisor of the Santa Monica Farmers Market. “Our spinach was safe all along.
Avery said that spinach growers at the Santa Monica Farmers Market come from Los Angeles, Ventura, San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara, Riverside, San Bernardino, Tulare, Orange and Fresno counties.
As of October 3rd, 192 persons from 26 states infected with the strain E. coli O157:H7 had been reported to the CDC.
To date, no suspected or confirmed cases of E. coli have been found in Los Angeles County. Public health officials are continuing to monitor the situation.
Commercially available spinach sold through wholesale marketing channels has been the subject of the current E. coli investigation, whether bagged or sold in bulk or bundled.
Spinach that comes directly from California farms to consumers at farmers markets has not been under investigation.
Farmers markets in Santa Monica are held
— from 8:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Wednesdays in downtown, Arizona Avenue and Second Street;
— 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturdays at Virginia Avenue Park, Pico and Cloverfield Boulevards;
— 8:30 to 1 p.m. Saturdays in downtown, Arizona Avenue and Second Street; and
— 9:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Sundays on Main Street, Main Street and Ocean Park Boulevard.
Information, the CDC Web site at www.cdc.gov or Santa Monica Farmers Market, (310) 458-8712 ext. 6 or ext. 2.