Jan 10, 2019
Investigation on E. coli outbreak linked to California romaine continues

The FDA, along with CDC, state and local agencies, continues its investigation into the potential source of a multistate outbreak of E. coli O157:H7 illnesses linked to romaine lettuce grown in California this fall.

As of Jan. 9, 2019, the CDC reports that the outbreak appears to be over. Contaminated romaine that made people sick in this outbreak should no longer be available on the market. FDA will continue its investigation into potential sources and contributing factors that led to the outbreak in order to inform future prevention efforts.

The Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) and Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) also coordinated with U.S. agencies as they investigated a similar outbreak in Canada. On Dec. 24, PHAC reported that the outbreak in Canada had ended.

Recommendation:

There is currently no recommendation for restaurants and retailers to avoid serving or selling any romaine lettuce currently on the market. FDA continues to recommend that romaine lettuce is labeled with a harvest location and a harvest date or labeled as being hydroponically- or greenhouse-grown on each bag of romaine lettuce, or that there is signage when labels are not an option.

There is currently no recommendation that suppliers, distributors and others in the supply chain should avoid shipping or selling any romaine lettuce currently on the market.

FDA recommends, per prior discussions with producers and distributors, that labels with harvest dates and locations be placed on romaine lettuce entering the market. In case of future product withdrawals or recalls of romaine lettuce, this will help to limit the amount of product to be removed from the market and it will help consumers, restaurants and retailers determine that the romaine lettuce they are buying is from an unaffected growing region.

Read the full FDA update ››


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