December 12, 2019 — Government agencies in the U.S. and Canada have provided numerous updates this week regarding the number and source of concurrent E. coli outbreaks that may be associated with leafy greens.
In an effort to simplify situation, the LGMA is emphasizing the following key points:
• Illnesses associated with current outbreaks are all in a similar time frame with the most recent onset date being mid-November.
• Products implicated in current outbreaks are past their best by dates and should no longer be available for sale.
• The most likely item associated with current outbreaks is romaine from Salinas.
• The Salinas growing region is no longer harvesting or shipping romaine.
• Romaine harvested in other growing regions is not included in any current consumer advisory, nor is any other leafy greens variety.
• Leafy greens producers are voluntarily labeling all products containing romaine with information on the growing region and harvest date in an effort to assist consumers in their buying decisions.
The leafy greens community appreciates governments’ efforts to provide greater transparency and we realize detailed information is critical to learning what can be done to prevent future outbreaks.
We continue to work with government agencies to learn all we can about these outbreaks so that our food safety practices can be improved to prevent future illnesses.
As always, our thoughts are with those whose lives have been impacted in these outbreaks.
April Ward, Communications Director