Following the high-profile leafy greens E. coli outbreaks in 2006, CDC started studying the trends. It concluded that “during 1996 2005 leafy green consumption increased 9% and leafy green-associated outbreaks increased 39%,” according to a recent article on ScienceDaily. Therefore even taking into account the increase in leafy greens consumption, associated food-borne outbreaks are on the rise. This is consistent with general trends, as indicated in my recent magazine article in Cooperative Grocers.
Although there is no way to eliminate risk, grocers, restaurants, and produce suppliers should conduct ongoing reviews of their food safety, audit, supplier, and insurance programs to ensure that everything that can be done is being done to mitigate or shift risk.