Friday, October 27, 2006

If Pigs Could Die

The Mercury News and others are reporting that the recent E. coli outbreak that contaminated spinach crops in California may have been spread by feral pigs (Sus scrofa). A dead pig recently discovered at a ranch in the Salinas area was found to have the exact strain of E. coli in its gut as the one found in bags of contaminated spinach this past August. Investigators note that there is evidence that the feral pigs have been destroying the fencing that surrounds the ranch land. It remains to be seen whether pigs actually caused the contamination or were just exposed to it themselves, but so far the dead pig is the only genetic match that has been found for the bacteria.

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