Work on safety guidelines that the FDA is ready to propose began in 2004 — though it has been slowed because staff time has been devoted to finding the source of the most recent outbreaks of E coli.

Even when these guidelines are finished, the FDA says they will be voluntary, according to the Sheboygan Press.

Growers are ready to implement new procedures on how to prevent contamination in green leafy vegetables from the planting stage to the time they reach the dinner table.

Because produce grows outdoors in the dirt, there is little you can do that will make it 100 percent safe unless you cook it or irradiate it, and it is unlikely that consumers will begin cooking all fresh produce, while there is skepticism about the public’s acceptance of irradiated product. Researchers at the University of Illinois expressed concerns about existing technologies – including irradiation – that can reduce or eliminate pathogenic bacteria from fresh produce.

Food science professors are testing ozone, high-intensity ultrasound, electrolyzed water, irradiation, and temperature, and they say no treatment singlehandedly can reduce the number of pathogens sufficiently to meet the standards set by the FDA.