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Local greenhouse says it's reducing e-coli outbreaks

December 5, 2018

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency has issued a recall for Eat Smarts 156 gram packaged 'Sweet Kale' salad mixes, best before date of December 3, 2018, with possible links to listeria contamination.

The produce industry has been reeling since the E. coli outbreaks involving romaine lettuce and English cucumbers.

A spokesperson at a local greenhouse says their approach to leafy green operation is significantly decreasing the possibility for e-coli outbreaks.

Rindi Bristol of Star Produce Ltd. says consumers should not react by avoiding produce, but be assured that greenhouse production offers a lower risk of water borne and animal derived viruses.

Bristol says their operations follow meticulous water quality testing measures daily to ensure no unwanted bacteria can touch the growing vegetables.

"We have water samples that are going out to labs to make sure we are managing our microbial counts," she explains.

Star Produce Ltd. owns the Whole Leaf greenhouse in Coaldale, AB,  B.C. Hot House tomato brand and two other innovative produce brands.

The Whole Leaf greenhouse in Coaldale is under construction, where nearly 50 employees are involved in packaging and shipping thousands of heads of greens across Western Canada and beyond.

Bristol says most of the operation is machine operated, diminishing human touch, and in turn the risk of contamination.

She says the expansion will make their operation the largest leafy green greenhouse in North America by 2019.