According to United Press International customers remain leery because the Spinach E. coli outbreak, which killed three (possibly as many as 5) people and sickened at least 200 others.

U.S. sales of fresh packaged spinach remain way down four months after an E. coli outbreak ended, a fresh-food market researcher reported. Packaged spinach sales were down 37 percent the week ended Dec. 23, compared with the same period a year earlier, to $976,699, the Perishables Group of West Dundee, Ill., said. Bulk spinach sales, a smaller market, were off 22 percent. Sales of packaged salads that contain spinach are down 28 percent year-over-year to $1.4 million, it said.