The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) has released this season’s temporary import requirements for Salinas Valley lettuce.
The requirements are the same as for the 2021 season, although the time frame has changed.
Between September 28 and December 22, 2022, importers of romaine lettuce (and salad mixes containing) from the United States must:
- “Declare that the product does not originate from counties of Santa Cruz, Santa Clara, San Benito and Monterey in the Salinas Valley, California, U.S., or
- “Submit an attestation form and Certificates of Analysis for each shipment to demonstrate that the romaine lettuce does not contain detectable levels of E. coliO157:H7.”
Importers of American lettuce must provide “a Proof of Origin indicating the state and county where the romaine lettuce was harvested if the romaine lettuce is from outside of the California counties of Santa Cruz, Santa Clara, San Benito and Monterey.”
Imports will be allowed, however, if the producer is a certified member of the California Leafy Greens Marketing Agreement (LGMA) or the Arizona Leafy Greens Marketing Agreement.
Although membership in LGMA is not mandatory, its members produce approximately 90 percent of leafy greens grown in the United States. https://lgma.ca.gov/about-us
“Once a company decides to join,” notes the LGMA website, “it subjects itself to mandatory government audits provided by USDA-certified, government inspectors. LGMA members are audited multiple times throughout the season and must achieve 100 percent compliance with the LGMA food safety practices.”