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Ohio State experts available to speak about E. coli outbreak, new research to prevent outbreaks in fresh vegetables

COLUMBUS/WOOSTER — Ohio State University food safety experts are available to speak with media about the recent outbreak of E. coli in the United States, which has been linked to contaminated bagged spinach and has sickened some 50 people in eight states – one of whom died.


• Ken Lee, food scientist, Department of Food Science and Technology, and director of Ohio State's Center for Food Safety and Agrosecurity, (614) 292-7797, lee.133@osu.edu.

• Jeff LeJeune, microbiologist and veterinary researcher, Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center, (330) 263-3739, lejeune.2@osu.edu.

Both Lee and LeJeune are involved in a new research study funded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, whose aim is to investigate how foodborne pathogens such as E. coli survive in fresh produce, particularly leafy salad vegetables. Their research is expected to find new ways to prevent foodborne-pathogen outbreaks in produce by targeting factors (such as lesions caused by plant diseases) that may contribute to contamination of vegetables in the field and during transportation.