After the E. coli spinach scare, can Fresh Express make a comeback?
I don't know about you, but I am so glad to FINALLY see bagged spinach back on grocery store shelves again following the recent E. coli outbreak in California in September. At the time, I blogged about what the long-term fallout of this crisis would be and whether people would start purchasing spinach again.
Here's what I wrote at the time about what the spinach companies face:
"The spinach and green leafy vegetable industry will be fighting an uphill public relations battle in the coming months. They need to somehow reassure consumers that it really is safe to begin eating their products again. A national marketing campaign on television and radio may be needed to get people to begin purchasing these products again."
Well, I was prophetic with what I wrote because that's exactly what the leading packaged salad company Fresh Express is doing. Just before Thanksgiving, I received a personalized e-mail from a representative at Fresh Express who said they read my blog and appreciate my support for consuming fresh salad greens as part of my healthy low-carb lifestyle.
They said they read about my concerns regarding the safety of their product following the E. coli incident and assured me they take every precaution to ensure the highest safety and quality of their products. Fresh Express referenced this USA Today article that explains the stringent standards that Fresh Express demands of the crop growers which make them the food safety leader in their industry. It's an educational read, so check it out!
Fresh Express Food Safety Chief Jim Lugg inspects the crops
There will be a bloggers-only press conference taking place in a couple of weeks with Jim Lugg, food safety chief for Fresh Express to answer any questions or concerns about the consumer safety of the Fresh Express products. If you have any specific concerns or questions that you would like for me to ask Mr. Lugg, then please e-mail them to me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I will certainly report back to you any relevant information that comes out of that.
Then, in today's mail I received the weekly newspaper sales flyer for my favorite local grocery store and noticed they were featuring the Fresh Express product line in a special front-page fold on the right-hand side of the paper. All of the Fresh Express bagged salads, including Baby Spinach, Spring Mix, Green & Crisp and Hearts Of Romaine, among others were featured on sale for BUY ONE GET ONE FREE! Sweet! I LOVE a BOGO sale! :)
At the bottom of the pictures of the Fresh Express ad read this:
"OUR PROMISE TO YOU: When you buy Fresh Express ready-to-eat salads, you have our pledge to provide the absolute freshest, safest, and highest quality salads and greens available. FOOD SAFETY, OUR NUMBER 1 PRIORITY."
I personally started buying spinach again about two weeks ago. This is a product that people who are livin' la vida low-carb should be eating as part of their healthy lifestyle because it is chock full of some essential nutrients that your body can use. Nothing beats a big plate of spinach leaves with some fresh grilled chicken, cheese, sunflower seeds, and Ranch dressing. I could eat that at every meal! :)
How about you? Have you started eating spinach again yet? I think the public panic has now passed and it's probably time we start supporting companies like Fresh Express who are doing everything they can to reassure and protect their customers from harm. The E. coli issue will unfortunately keep some people away from spinach for good, but that's an unreasonable reaction since the source of the problem has been identified and taken care of. It's time to come back to spinach again.
In fact, here's an incentive for you to go buy a bag of spinach this week:
Click on the image above to print the 55 cent coupon
Go ahead, try a bag! Even if you have never purchased bagged spinach before, give it a whirl. You may find like I did that you enjoy eating it more than you think. And it's so incredibly healthy for you, too! EAT UP, low-carbers!