When good food goes bad: Television network news and the spinach recall of 2006

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21 Scopus citations


In September 2006, an unprecedented nationwide outbreak of fresh spinach contaminated with Escherichia coli O157:H7 was communicated to the American public through press releases from the Food and Drug Administration. The potential for severe and fatal illness from consuming this spinach required effective communication by media outlets. Television network news coverage (ABC, CBS, and NBC morning and evening news shows) was examined for quantity, consistency with press release information critical for public health, and source usage. Results of this study consider the role of government information subsidies in disseminating information critical to public health, with potential impact for communication of other national health crises.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)238-265
Number of pages28
JournalScience Communication
Issue number2
StatePublished - Dec 1 2009

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Sociology and Political Science


  • Food safety
  • Information subsidies
  • Network news
  • Press releases
  • Television

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