Fresh Express Spinach Safe To Eat, Food Safety Chief Says

Filed under: Business — @ January 8, 2007

Find out why Fresh Express spinach is okay to eat

One of the biggest health news stories of 2006 was the E-coli outbreak in spinach in September. Since spinach and other green leafy vegetables are an important part of a healthy low-carb lifestyle, I had some serious concerns about the long-term fallout from this event.

America’s top ready-to-eat bagged salad company Fresh Express has attempted to regain the public’s trust in the safety of their products. To that end, I recently conducted an interview with their food safety chief Jim Lugg to ask him the hard questions that I’m sure are still lingering in the back of your mind about buying spinach.

I appreciated his candor about the E. coli scare and hope you feel as confident as I do that spinach is indeed safe to eat again (I’ve already purchased about a dozen bags of spinach in just the past month!).

Here’s a brief taste of my interview:

1. I’m pleased to welcome to the “Livin’ La Vida Low-Carb” blog the food safety chief for ready-to-eat salad company Fresh Express and 43-year industry veteran Jim Lugg. It’s been quite a year for you and your company dealing with the challenges of the last few months of 2006. When the E. coli news started spreading across the media, what was your initial reaction to it?

Our reaction was one of concern: One food borne illness related to the leafy green category is one too many. We were fairly certain we were not involved in the outbreak due to our rigorous food safety programs that actually begin right in the field and carry through all the way to delivery of our products. Thanks to the comprehensive scope of these programs and our day-in and day-out focus on food safety, in our entire 18-year history, Fresh Express has never been epidemiologically linked to a food-borne illness outbreak.

2. Do you think the news media tended to over sensationalize the story in order to attract viewers and readers or was the massive coverage by them warranted?

I think the media is on very, very tight deadlines and don’t always take the time to educate themselves about a situation thoroughly enough to write articles that tell the whole story. As a result, they can send incomplete or inaccurate signals to consumers.

Click here to read the rest of my interview with Jim Lugg from Fresh Express about the safety of eating spinach in 2007 and to learn about a special promotion they are currently conducting for the new year.


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