Thirty-threepeople from five states were infected and nearly half of those were hospitalized in late 2012 after consuming spinach and bagged spring mix salads contaminated with E. coli.

The contaminated saladsoriginated from a plant in Massachusetts.

There werenine outbreaks of foodborne illnesses in the U.S. last year, and one of five outbreaks associated with soil-grown produce, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Preventive efforts are under way to reduce the occurrence of similar situations.

“If you’re going to grow products that will be consumed by humans you need to have a food safety program,” said JV Farms food safety director Fatima Corona.

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