The Associated Press is reporting that government regulators failed to adopt stricter produce inspection standards after the E. coli spinach outbreak that occurred more than a year ago. Perhaps such regulations could've prevented the spinach salmonella recall last month.
California, which grows three quarters of the nation's greens, adopted new voluntary inspection guidelines, but leaving industry regulation up to the industry itself is a dangerous game, as evidenced by the pharmaceutical industry's relaxed regulations that resulted in drug recalls such the Vioxx debacle.
After the smoke cleared on the initial spinach recall, many people began buying packaged salads again, assuming they'd be safe and that the government was looking out for them. Unfortunately, it seems such assumptions can be harmful to your health. Yet another good reason to buy locally grown organic produce.