Among the concerns outlined in the Monterey County Grand Jury’s 2006 report was E. coli contamination in the Salinas Valley lettuce and spinach fields, which has plagued the area for years now, reports the Monterey County Herald.
As part of their investigation, grand jury members accompanied federal, state and local health officials on a survey of Santa Rita Creek last May. During the survey, the report said, the group observed land littered with cans, tires, bed frames and mattresses as well as animal feces.
Fecal material and samples of water samples from one parcel containing cattle and a llama with access to the creek were tested for E. coli 0157:H7. Although the results were negative, the grand jury report recommended that the county health department enforce state codes protecting waterways from animal contamination.