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Got caught up in the spinach recall. I sell more spinach salads with sliced mushrooms, crumbled bacon, blue cheese, and a warm balsamic dressing than anyone ever has. When my cases of spinach came in they looked fine. Then the E. coli news filled the airwaves and the spinach filled my dumpster. Fortunately, none of my loyal, spinach-salad-loving customers got sick, but the recall cost me a fortune. Spinach salad sales have not gotten back where they should be. I received some information on a class action suit. Should I join the ranks and file? What´s your take?
Randy in Chicago
The E. coli outbreak was an unfortunate mishap for everyone who has any contact with spinach. The total sum of what it has cost the food industry in total is not in yet, however, the loss will be massive. The financial disaster inflected on restaurant owners, distributors, vendors, processors, and growers is astronomical. I also received some information on a class action suit. And frankly, think that it is a waste of time to pursue it. The only people who will make out in a suit like that will be the attorneys who most likely initiated the suit. In the suit I received information on a restaurant owner was named as the plaintiff.
I always put myself in the shoes of the other party before making a decision on whether or not to commence an action- of any type- in order to achieve personal gain. I´ve found that what goes around comes around. Was the spinach debacle devastating for a lot of people? Of course it was. Could it have been avoided? Possibly. I am sure, however, that the hard working growers in Steinbeck´s Valley didn´t intentionally contaminate spinach. I would presume that they take every possible precaution in an attempt to guard the safety of those who ingest their products.
This bout with E. coli was unfortunate, for sure. But, it could happen to anyone in the business of creating, growing, producing and eventually selling or serving food. We all know of operators who have the cleanest, most system oriented restaurants in the country and on occasion some of them, including myself, have faced salmonella scares, food poisoning claims and have observed kitchen procedures go array in front of our eyes. And, we quickly correct the problems.
If I were you, I would tell your produce supplier that you want a credit for your tossed spinach. He will, I am sure, get the credit for all of his tossed and sold spinach from his supplier. I would think that would be all the compensation needed. Dipping spinach salad sales will eventually come back. And, if all else fails, toss the spinach for good and add some arugula. That´s what Popeye is doing.