Seasonal food safety costs for California leafy greens growers more than doubled in the year after the September 2006 outbreak of E. coli in spinach, according to a survey by the University of California Small Farm Program.

On a per-acre basis, these costs were lowest for the largest farms.

The UC Small Farm Program survey is the first to ask leafy greens growers specifically about food-safety costs after the implementation of the California Leafy Green Products Handler Marketing Agreement.

In the survey, growers reported their seasonal food safety costs increased 127 percent, from an average of $24.04 per acre to $54.63 per acre.

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