The Salinas Californian reports that investigators are working to find out whether E. coli bacteria that ended up in Dole-brand salads in Minnesota can be traced back to production in the Salinas Valley.
The matter also is under investigation by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and the California state Departments of Health, and the trail might lead back to the Salinas Valley, where the lettuce was grown.
Contamination of lettuce and spinach grown in the Salinas area also has been blamed in three other major food-illness outbreaks since 2002 that killed one elderly woman and sickened at least 114 other people.
Even though the lettuce was grown in Salinas, it could have been packaged either at the Dole plant in Soledad or at a packing plant in Ohio before being shipped to Minnesota.
About 23 percent of all salads in the United States today are made from bagged lettuce.