Turning over a new leaf: Agriculture programs team up to fight E. coli

In the spring of 2018, an E. coli outbreak that was linked to contaminated romaine lettuce caused nearly 210 reported illnesses, 96 hospitalizations, and five deaths across 36 states. Just months after that outbreak was declared over, a different strain of E. coli spread across the nation—again through romaine—causing 62 reported illnesses and 25 hospitalizations in 16 states.

Now the country is amid yet another E. coli outbreak—this one linked to romaine lettuce grown in Salinas.  With hopes of minimizing romaine-associated illnesses in the future, agricultural professors and students at Cal Poly and Allan Hancock College are teaming up to develop and launch a food-safety training program specifically geared toward small-scale leafy greens farmers in the Santa Maria area.

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