An E.coli outbreak, which killed one person and left almost 100 people ill in the US earlier this month has been traced back to a single spinach processor.

Investigating the outbreak, the US Food and Drug Administration's Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition announced the findings last week.

The news will come as a vital step in restoring the public’s confidence in bagged spinach, which sources say has been significantly compromised by the incident.

Issuing a statement, the Produce Marketing Association said: “The produce industry has always put the safety of our food and our customer's health first and we will continue to do so. And while we continually invest millions of dollars annually to analyze and enhance existing systems, we pledge to do more.

“With that in mind, the industry associations have joined together to work cooperatively with FDA and state regulatory agencies to learn everything we can from this outbreak and work as one industry to enhance food safety safeguards to protect the public health. We are already working together on a comprehensive plan to strengthen our existing food safety systems in a renewed effort to prevent future outbreaks.

“We are committed to complete adherence with the very best agricultural practices and all aspects of state and federal laws and regulation. We are committed to utilizing research as a critical tool to investigate sources of contamination, as well as training programs to enhance knowledge at every level of the supply chain. And, above all else, we are committed to ensuring our customers’ health.”