Area Farmer Reacts to E.coli Outbreak

By: Forrest Sanders Email
By: Forrest Sanders Email

It's the latest in a long line of E.coli outbreaks. Dole's "Hearts Delight" salad packages with the "Best Used By" date of September 19, are being recalled.

It's a scare that follows last year's tainted spinach outbreak. And now, some area residents are wondering how they can stay healthy while still eating their leafy greens.

Joe and Debbie O'Daniel sell their homegrown produce at one of two farmer's markets in Bowling Green. They're well aware of the E.coli outbreaks, and now, they're weighing in on the matter.

"You know, the longer you let that produce sit out of the refrigerator, especially after it's already been processed, the more chance of contamination of some sort that you're going to get," explains Joe.

It's advice that health conscious consumers have already taken to heart, and E.coli concerns are the talk of the farmer's market.

"It's hard to eat out and buy vegetables from a grocery store, because you don't know where things are coming from," says consumer Whitney Carter.

"I'd rather see our vegetables coming from this country," adds Farmer's Market patron, Norma Micensay.

That's a sentiment that's been echoed throughout the US. A recent Ohio State University study shows that 85 percent of Americans prefer their produce to be grown in the country. But some local farmers argue that the problem could stem from crops traveling for days from areas across America.

"Anytime you can buy local stuff, it's going to be fresher, and you've got recourse," adds Joe. "Anytime you fall sick, you can go back to that farmer, and he can investigate on it and maybe correct that."

And for farmers and shoppers at the farmer's market, most come to a single agreement--

"Just as consumers, we all need to be aware of where our produce is coming from," says Whitney.

Joe also advises that thorough hand washing is extremely important in staying safe from E.coli outbreaks. He also says that farmers should make sure they use clean picking utensils when handling a crop.


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