Incorrect correction of a correction

Wouldn’t you think that a reader’s letter correcting factual
errors in a newspaper article wouldn’t be edited to delete the principal
correction? Well, that’s not necessarily
the case, as my letter
today in the Washington Post’s
Health Section shows.

Seems the Post last week ran Q’s
and A’s on the E. coli 0157:H7 outbreaks
related to spinach. Unfortunately for consumers, it gave some
incorrect information, namely:

“Since 1995, there have been 19 outbreaks of food-borne
illness caused by E. coli 0157: H7. All have involved lettuce or leafy greens.”

In correcting that, my original letter said: “According to
the Centers for Disease Control a major source of transmission is ground beef, and outbreaks
have occurred from consumption of unpasteurized apple juice and milk, sprouts,
salami, lettuce, contact with cattle, as well as waterborne transmission.”

But the phrase I’ve highlighted was deleted.

It’s puzzling why that change was made — wouldn’t consumers
want to know that fresh produce isn’t the only source of contamination? In the
meantime, don’t believe everything you read in the Washington Post . . . even
when it’s corrected.