Seattle-based attorney Bill Marler, who says he represents 86 victims in 25 states, called the payment of out-of-pocket expenses "a good first step." Marler — who has made a career representing victims of food-borne illnesses, beginning with the 1993 Jack in the Box E. coli outbreak — said he has spoken with attorneys for Natural Selection and Dole. "It’s a good thing then a corporation does that early rather than waiting forever," he said. "I encouraged them to do it for everyone, not just my clients, and obviously that’s what they’ve done. And I commend them for doing it."

The nine bags of baby spinach now linked by DNA testing to the national E. coli outbreak all held conventional rather than organic produce and all were sold under the Dole label, state health officials said Thursday in an interview with the LA Times.

The nine bags were packaged by Natural Selection Foods at the same facility in San Juan Bautista on August 15th.