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Dole Food Co. announced last week that it has improved and increased its testing of fresh produce as it looks to reduce the likelihood of E.coli contamination like the kind that resulted in hundreds of people getting sick – and three people dying – late last year.

According to the company, it is now testing samples from every acre of produce that will be marketed under the Dole banner, as well as using a new system that can pinpoint within 30 feet where a batch of spinach has been grown. The company hopes that these efforts will result not only in it being more effective at preventing contaminated product from entering the food supply, but also will reassure leery consumers that products carrying the company’s name are safe.

Ironically, Dole made the disclosure of its new systems as another company, Metz Fresh, said that it had recalled some products after its fresh spinach tested positive for salmonella.
KC's View:
One of the stories I read mentioned that Dole and other produce companies are hoping to get the federal government to invest in some of these new and improved safety systems. But I wouldn’t count on that happening anytime soon; it may well be argued that it is up to for-profit companies to invest in such systems so that their customers remain safe and profits keep being generated.