Clean Greens
The race for clean greens

About this project

Five years after the Salinas Valley became the epicenter of a national food disaster when an E. coli outbreak was linked to spinach grown there, valley farmers have retooled almost every step in their industry to ensure the safety of their produce. One result is that they helped develop state food safety standards that are being held up as a national model.


Photography Gallery: Food Safety Five Years After the Salinas Valley E. Coli Outbreak

Multimedia reporter Lauren M. Whaley traveled to Salinas Valley, Calif. to capture some of the efforts valley growers and companies have put in place since the 2006 E. Coli outbreak. In addition to fields of lettuce, she photographed an Earthbound...

Salinas Valley: Ultra-careful center of safe food production

Five years after their healthy-looking green fields became the epicenter of a national food disaster, farmers in the Salinas Valley are still working to regain something even the most bountiful harvest can't ensure: the public's trust. They are...


Deborah Schoch

Deborah Schoch

Senior writer Deborah Schoch reports on hospitals and health care delivery, nursing homes, environmental health and food. Her most recent articles have examined patient safety andhospital infections. She was a founding writer with the Center’s pilot project. Schoch spent 18 years as a staff writer at the Los Angeles Times, covering public health and the environment. She was a member of the Times newsroom teams that won Pulitzer Prizes for breaking news in 1992 and 1994. Schoch graduated from Cornell University and was a Nieman Fellow at Harvard University in 1999-2000, studying science, law and policy. Her work at the Center has won several honors, including first place in the 2010 Awards for Excellence in Health Care Journalism, from the Association of Health Care Journalists. She sits on the AHCJ board’s Right-to-Know Committee, which works to improve access to public health records.

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