Spinach lovers should start finding another salad option to munch on until the E. coli outbreak is resolved, said TCU Dining Services staff. Since the recent outbreak, Dining Services has taken all frozen and fresh spinach products off the menu and out of the kitchen, said Legia Abato, marketing manager for Dining Services.
Rick Flores, general manager of Dining Services, said the Dining Services staff “have thrown out the four cases of spinach we had and will not order more until the FDA says it’s safe to.”
Abato said Dining Services is trying to find alternative types of lettuce for the menu items that have been removed, such as the Pond St. Grill spinach salad.
Dining Services is not the only place in town clearing out the spinach.
“All spinach products have been pulled from the shelves since the story hit the news, mainly for quality assurance,” said Val Aguilar of the Fort Worth Central Market.
An estimated 146 cases of illnesses and one death caused by the E.coli infection have been reported, according to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration as of Wednesday night.
The main product in question is Dole baby spinach, labeled “Best if Used by August 30,” according to the FDA. Millie Norris, a sophomore nursing major, said she is happy TCU has taken the initiative and gotten rid of the spinach.
Mimi Daniels, a freshman middle school education major, said she feels differently.
“Well, I’m a big fan of the spinach salads,” Daniels said. “I think it is unnecessary to get rid of all of it, but as long as they want to keep us safe, it’s OK.”
At the Fort Worth Central Market, Aguilar said the financial loss that goes along with throwing out an entire product is not a concern.
“You know there will be a very small loss, but the rest is covered by quality assurance, which is similar to a risk management program,” Aguilar said.
Aguilar said there has been an increase in sales of other types of lettuce because people are trying to find a substitute for spinach.
Dining Services will get its money back from American Produce, the company all produce is ordered from, Flores said.
“It is more important to us to serve quality food that is good to eat,” Abato said. “It would be more of a loss to keep serving spinach.