cattle fecal matter from a ranch in the Salinas Valley has tested positive for E. coli bacteria. The same strain that caused three deaths and sickened 199 people:The spinach-E. coli debacle rages on. Amanda Gardner of HealthDay News reports
It's not certain that the ranch was the source of the outbreak, but it's an important lead in the continuing investigation, U.S. and California health officials said during a Thursday evening teleconference.Smoking Cow, isn’t that a rock band? Even though officials aren’t ready to label this location as the point of origin, Gardner does point out that contaminated fecal samples were found only a mile (and some areas less than mile) from the produce fields—and there a many possibilities as how the spinach was exposed, including wandering livestock, substandard worker hygiene, irrigation practices or even wild boar.
"We do not have a 'smoking cow' at this point," said Dr. Kevin Reilly, deputy director of the prevention services division for the California Department of Health Services. "We do not have a definitive cause-and-effect, but we do have an important finding."