Former USDA inspector says Hepatitis A outbreak was preventable - WSFA.com Montgomery Alabama news.

Former USDA inspector says Hepatitis A outbreak was preventable

Posted: Updated:
  • More newsMore>>

  • Israel hits symbols of Hamas rule; scores killed

    Israel hits symbols of Hamas rule; scores killed

    Tuesday, July 29 2014 2:49 PM EDT2014-07-29 18:49:02 GMT
    Israeli aircraft, tanks and navy gunboats pounded symbols of Hamas control in Gaza City in the heaviest night of bombardment in three weeks of Israel-Hamas fighting.More >>
    Israel on Tuesday unleashed its heaviest bombardment in a 3-week-old war against Hamas, striking symbols of the militant group's control in Gaza and firing tank shells that Palestinian officials said shut down the...More >>
  • NCAA settles head-injury suit, will change rules

    NCAA settles head-injury suit, will change rules

    Tuesday, July 29 2014 2:25 PM EDT2014-07-29 18:25:39 GMT
    The NCAA has agreed to settle a class-action head injury lawsuit by creating a $70 million fund to diagnose thousands of current and former college athletes to determine if they suffered brain trauma playing...More >>
    The NCAA agreed Tuesday to settle a class-action head-injury lawsuit by creating a $70 million fund to diagnose thousands of current and former college athletes to determine if they suffered brain trauma playing football,...More >>
  • Teacher hit by train expected to make full recovery

    Teacher hit by train expected to make full recovery

    Tuesday, July 29 2014 2:17 PM EDT2014-07-29 18:17:03 GMT
    A Smiths Station High School teacher is recovering after a devastating train collision on Monday, July 28.More >>
    A Smiths Station High School teacher is recovering after a devastating train collision on Monday, July 28.

    Twisted metal, airbags deployed, and personal items scattered everywhere are all that's left of the SUV that Vivian Martin was driving when she crossed the path of a train running parallel to Lee County Road 430.
    More >>
PHOENIX (CBS5) -

The latest numbers won't be released until Tuesday, but so far we know at least nine Arizonans have been impacted by the Costco berries Hepatitis A outbreak. Now a former USDA inspector said it all could have been prevented.

"I was a contract inspector under the USDA's national organic programs for five years from 1998 until 2003," said Mischa Popoff.

Popoff knows the organic industry.  As a former farmer and USDA inspector, he says he's seen this before.

"It's kind of like deja vu, I felt like well we're really missing the point here. And the point is we should be testing," Popoff said.

Popoff said all food is tested, but only organic food uses manure for fertilizer.  He said testing for pathogens, which isn't done now, is pretty cheap.

"Oh, it's so inexpensive if we're talking about pathogens from fecal contamination of uncomposted manure. It's about $20 for a fecal califorum test," Popoff said.

We don't know for sure yet where the Hepatitis A came from, but Popoff said theories that it started with an infected worker's dirty hands just don't make sense.

"Now stop and think how unlikely that is. Because first you shouldn't be working in the food industry if you have Hepatitis A, but even if you are, how do you infect all the berries?  It becomes mathematically unlikely that it's a person with hepatitis on his or her hands that transferred it. Much more likely that its manure into the field," he said.

Copyright 2013 CBS 5 (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.

Powered by WorldNow