Restaurants, Groceries Yank Spinach Off Shelves

By  | 

Angela Falls was doing her weekly grocery shopping Tuesday morning. This time though there's no spinach on her grocery list.

A recent outbreak of E. coli in fresh and bagged spinach has caused more than 100 people nationwide to become sick. One case proved to be fatal.

"I usually buy bagged salads pretty much every week and anything that contains spinach I'm not gonna buy right now," said Falls.

Shirley Williams, who is also grocery shopping at Albertson's on North Monroe, said she already misses eating spinach.

"It took me a lot of years to learn to like spinach, and now I like it and I love a spinach salad, and so I'll miss that during this time."

Albertson's has pulled the spinach and mixed salads containing spinach off the shelves. Many Tallahassee restaurants like Subway, TGI Fridays, Ruby Tuesday's, Mosaic and Chez Pierre are doing the same, taking the fresh and packaged greens off their salad bars and menus.

"Since so many of our menu items had to do with spinach we were affected pretty strongly by it, so we re-altered our menus for a while using a different product, different kind of mixes, and playing a waiting game," said David Sprowles of Chez Pierre.

Hollie Maddox was dining at lunch at Chez Pierre Tuesday and said she's glad spinach is not on the menu.

"I think it’s a good idea. It's better safe than sorry. I'm sure they don't want the liability of possibly somebody getting sick at their restaurant."

Although some say they'll miss Popeye's power food, everyone including Pamela Keller seems to agree to err on the side of caution.

"I did throw the spinach away in my refrigerator and I'll hold up on the spinach items for a while."

The Food and Drug Administration has traced the outbreak to a California company's fresh spinach, but they're not sure how the bacteria got in the spinach. This week inspectors are visiting spinach fields to try and figure all that out.

Upset stomach is the first symptom and some people can recover, but others can develop a form of kidney failure, which could lead to very serious kidney damage and even death.