E. Coli: A Tale of Two Farms

In 2006, wild pigs in a spinach field caused an E. coli outbreak linked to salad greens. The cause of this past spring’s outbreak, however—which sickened at least 200 people and killed 5—was harder to track down.

After identifying romaine lettuce as the outbreak’s source, investigators zoomed in on Yuma, Arizona. There, in an irrigation canal that runs by a cattle feedlot, they found bacteria genetically matched to those found on contaminated lettuce. It’s still unknown whether water or wind spread the bacteria, leaving farmers wondering how to safely grow lettuce with a source of E. coli being farmed nearby.

NPR The Salt

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