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It's been a tough six months for spinach growers and handlers. While there are signs the industry is recovering from last fall's E. coli outbreak, sales of spinach and, to a lesser extent, packaged salads have remained depressed. Sales of packaged spinach had dropped nearly 27% during the four weeks ending Feb. 24, compared with the same period in 2006, according to the Perishables Group, Chicago.

It's been a tough six months for spinach growers and handlers.

While there are signs the industry is recovering from last fall's E. coli outbreak, sales of spinach and, to a lesser extent, packaged salads have remained depressed. Sales of packaged spinach had dropped nearly 27% during the four weeks ending Feb. 24, compared with the same period in 2006, according to the Perishables Group, Chicago. Packaged salad sales were down nearly 5%. (The data reflect sales at U.S. chains with mo

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