Market Workers Caught Urinating Near Produce

Nothing makes for fresh produce like sewage, open urination by workers, and storage next to rat-infested garbage and Port-A-Potties. That’s what a hidden camera investigation by Joel Grover found at a So-Cal produce processing area found at the Seventh Street Produce Market in downtown LA. The market services thousands of SoCal restaurants and stores.

A lab test of samples at the market confirmed high levels of E. coli, Fecal Coli forms, and Listeria, which can cause food poisoning.

Unfortunately, there’s nothing a consumer can do, really. Except to make more meals at home, and properly store, wash, and cook food, using appropriate temperatures. — BEN POPKEN

Contaminated: Produce Market Investigation [NBC4] (Thanks to Dave!)

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  1. Scazza says:

    At least the guy for the health department was honest, there was a problem, he didn’t beat around the bush.

  2. If you don’t watch it for the gross-out effect, at least watch it for Joel Grover’s maniacal laugh at the end of the vid.

  3. Don’t eat the “peas”!

  4. Nemesis_Enforcer says:

    Ahh man so much for taking the wife out for her birthday this weekend…going to be eating at home for a while..eww

  5. Hitchcock says:

    You can also bet the people who PICK the produce piss and urinate in the fields as well. While some big fields might have a portapotty, most don’t. They just go where they are, and right onto the very plants they’re picking. Yum!

  6. Hoss says:

    This TV station has been featured here before — they do excellent work

  7. ahwannabe says:

    There is another thing consumers can do: start their own vegetable gardens and co-ops.

  8. Hitchcock says:

    I just hope no one finds out what farmers use for fertilizer.

  9. dohtem says:

    Joel Grover can be annoying at times but I love the stuff he uncovers. He blew the whole Jiffy Lube thing wide open.

    Here’s hoping we we get more updates as this unfolds.

  10. Trai_Dep says:

    No, no, NO! See, the gentleman was rinsing it for us!

    Watch out for the guy behind him, though. I think he’s got “protein fortification” on his mind…

  11. scourge15 says:

    gross

  12. timmus says:

    Speaking as someone who has some parasitology background, I can tell you that fecal contamination around produce is an excellent way to get worm infection (especially ascariasis, truly nasty stuff). While the U.S. is not a third world country, I can assure you we’re going to see more third world infections here if migrant populations continue working in poorly supervised parts of our food supply.

  13. LetThemHaveIt says:

    Circuit City is not customer friendly. Today I went CC to purchase a moden. Of course, I was talked in to a modem, router, and having it all insstalled. Since I was having major computer problems I fell for all the crap I was being tossed and agreed to purchase and have all this installed. It was supposed to be installed between 4-6pm today. At 5:30 I called to see where they were and they had to call me back. Called back to say no one would be coming. Well, first I cancelled my appt with Cox cable (more idiots) and second, I stayed home all afternoon waithing for these nitwits so to say I was a little pissed off is putting it mildly. Should have learned a long time ago the CC has terrible customer service and hires nitwits. Will never do businesss there again – NEVER. Took all the crap back and got the I’m so sorry crap and I don’t know what happened. They even tried to give me a $50 gift card that they gave me earlier that was deducted from the merchandise and tech visit (WHOOPS – NITWIT VISIT). I asked the guy, what you’re giving me a gift card because I’m bringing back the crap that was sold to me, that you gave me the gift card earlier for? HOW DO THEY STAY IN BUSINESS! Stupid, stupid, employees.

  14. silverlining says:

    Timmus writes:

    While the U.S. is not a third world country, I can assure you we’re going to see more third world infections here if migrant populations continue working in poorly supervised parts of our food supply.

    Actually, more accurately, we’re going to see more third world infections unless growers/ag owners start implementing more humane working conditions for their workers. I don’t know what the working conditions were in the video, but farmworkers routinely work in fields where no bathroom/sanitary facilities are provided, and are left to go in the fields. (Among other public health problems… e.g. farmworkers are routinely exposed to pesticides, fungicides, etc. etc.) Check out the United Farmworkers website for more info.

  15. silverlining says:

    Timmus writes:

    While the U.S. is not a third world country, I can assure you we’re going to see more third world infections here if migrant populations continue working in poorly supervised parts of our food supply.

    More accurately, we’ll see more infections if farm owners don’t implement more humane working conditions (or if farmworkers are not allowed to form a union and force better working conditions). Farmworkers are routinely forced to work in fields without bathrooms, leaving them to relieve themselves in the fields. Obviously, a public health risk.

  16. timmus says:

    I wonder though if the workers would bother using the facilities. I know that when I was building my house out in the country, it was a lot easier to just take a leak right there than walk 50 feet and use the bathroom in the storage trailer. Plus as you get into lower socioeconomic/education strata, basic hygiene, handwashing, etc is something that becomes more hit or miss.

  17. Kornkob says:

    I’ve worked on a farm (dairy and corn) and I think everyone did the math on a rest stop. Do I take the tractor back a half mile to use the portapotty or do I leave the tractor running (sometimes even moving) and stop over at a nearby tree or fencepost? Most guys opted for the nearby tree for urination and hopes that the bowel movement could wait till lunch or dinner break so you could use the commode at the house or machine shed.

    If you’re expecting full and complete sanitation through the entire food production process I think you’ll have to grow your own food indoors to see that happen.

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