Parker Waichman LLP

Agents search 2 spinach facilities

FBI And FDA Searched Spinach Facilities. Federal agents from the FBI and Food and Drug Administration searched two spinach-packing companies in California on Wednesday in connection with the outbreak of E. coli in fresh spinach. The San Francisco U.S. Attorney’s Office said warrants were served on Natural Selection Foods and Growers Express. Agents are investigating whether […]

Spinach Facilities

FBI And FDA Searched Spinach Facilities. Federal agents from the FBI and Food and Drug Administration searched two spinach-packing companies in California on Wednesday in connection with the outbreak of E. coli in fresh spinach.

The San Francisco U.S. Attorney’s Office said warrants were served on Natural Selection Foods and Growers Express. Agents are investigating whether companies took appropriate safety measures, said U.S. Attorney Kevin Ryan in a statement. He also said there is no indication the spinach was intentionally contaminated.

FBI spokesman Joe Schadler said authorities are investigating possible felony violations of federal environmental laws.

The FDA said Friday that all spinach implicated in the nationwide outbreak traced back to Natural Selection Foods of San Juan Bautista. Calls to that company were not returned Wednesday. In a statement, its CEO, Charles Sweat, defended his plant’s cleanliness. Natural Selection is now testing incoming product.

Growers Express, a grower and packer in Salinas, had no immediate comment. Until Wednesday, it had not been named in the investigation.

Also on Friday, the FDA said fresh spinach was as safe to eat as it was before the outbreak except for products that had already been recalled and should no longer be in circulation.

FBI Search For Criminal Action

Ryan said the investigation has not revealed any evidence of a new or continuing threat. But the news of the FBI involvement and search for criminal action comes just as grocers start to restock shelves with fresh spinach.

Despite the FDA’s clearance, consumers may have to hunt for spinach. Some grocers, including Wal-Mart and Costco Wholesale, have yet to make plans to reintroduce fresh spinach. Other grocers have started but supplies may be limited. And major spinach processors say it’ll take weeks or months to fully ramp up production.

“We’ll be back into spinach, I just cannot tell you when,” says Jeff Lyons, senior vice president for fresh foods for Costco. Given the outstanding question of how the outbreak started, Lyons says consumers are still too wary.

Kroger, with 2,500 stores, expects to have packaged and bulk product in most stores by Saturday. Food Lion, with 1,200 stores, is aiming for early next week, if supplies are available, spokesman Jeff Lowrance says.

Publix, with 883 stores, could not give a time frame. It intended to get spinach from Canada, but the growing season was ending and product wasn’t available, spokeswoman Maria Brous says.

Other Salinas Valley processors resumed production in recent days. Fresh Express, the leading packaged salad processor, hopes to be at full production within weeks, President Tanios Viviani says. It resumed processing on Monday. Viviani says it’ll take time for customers to reassure themselves that their suppliers are good and for consumers to understand the safety of the product, despite the outbreak.

River Ranch Fresh Foods resumed shipping spinach on Tuesday. It cannot say when it’ll be at 100%.

“We’re starting very, very slowly,” company spokesman Barry Eisenberg says. Eisenberg says the company’s primary customers, supermarkets, “are just not sure what the consumer response will be.”

Whole Foods, a leading retailer of natural and organic foods, might provide cause for optimism. It resumed sales of fresh bunched spinach late last week in some stores. Weekend sales were almost at normal levels, spokeswoman Kate Lowery says.

Need Legal Help Regarding Spinach Facilities?

The personal injury attorneys at Parker Waichman LLP offer free, no-obligation case evaluations. For more information, fill out our online contact form or call 1-800-YOURLAWYER (1-800-968-7529).

What Our Clients Say About Us
We have worked with thousands of clients and we appreciate them and their positive reviews. Here are just a few recent client reviews...
5 Star Reviews 150
Positive: Professionalism Always kept me informed in a timely manner
Donald Dodson
2 years ago
5 Star Reviews 150
I was very happy with Parker Waichman services. The staff stayed in constant communication with me. Thank you.
Richard Wall
6 months ago
5 Star Reviews 150
Hi Tina guys terrific very professional and I thank you guys so much With all your helpful and I will definitely recommend you guys
D. Jimmy Guptar
2 months ago

Why Choose Us to Help You?

We Take Care of Everything
Your situation is stressful enough: Let us take on the deadlines, paperwork, investigation, and litigation. We'll handle every detail so you don't have to worry.
No Recovery = No Legal Fees
We work on a contingency-fee basis, meaning that we only get paid from a portion of your settlement or jury award. If you don't get compensation, you owe us nothing.
Decades of Experience
Your situation is stressful enough: Let us take on the deadlines, paperwork, investigation, and litigation. We'll handle every detail so you don't have to worry.
Respected by Our Peers
Judges, insurance adjusters, and fellow attorneys all speak highly of our skills, and we've earned numerous accolades, including a flawless rating from AVVO.
We Have Many Locations To Serve You
We have the experience and the skilled litigators to win your case. Contact us and speak with a real attorney who can help you.
Long Island – Nassau
Parker Waichman LLP
6 Harbor Park Drive
Port Washington, NY 11050
Long Island – Suffolk
Parker Waichman LLP
201 Old Country Road – Suite 145
Melville, NY 11747
New York
Parker Waichman LLP
59 Maiden Lane, 6th Floor
New York, NY 10038
Queens
Parker Waichman LLP
118-35 Queens Boulevard, Suite 400
Forest Hills, NY 11375
Brooklyn
Parker Waichman LLP
300 Cadman Plaza West
One Pierrepont Plaza, 12th Floor
Brooklyn, NY 11201
New Jersey
Parker Waichman LLP
80 Main Street, Suite 265
West Orange, NJ 07052
Florida
Parker Waichman LLP
27299 Riverview Center Boulevard
Suite 108
Bonita Springs, FL 34134
Nationwide Service
Parker Waichman LLP
59 Maiden Lane, 6th Floor
New York, NY 10038