December 10, 2018

What Lettuce Is Safe To Eat After Latest Recall?

03 December 2018, 07:39 | Rodolfo Wallace

Some romaine lettuce safe to eat again, FDA says

It’s OK to eat some romaine lettuce again, FDA says

Though, health officials from the FDA and CDC have potentially identified the strain, they are not sure how much lettuce has been contaminated.

The Food and Drug Administration put the measure on hold when the produce industry said such tests wouldn't necessarily help prevent outbreaks. Wu agrees: "Other leafy greens are not now implicated in the E. coli outbreak, so until further notice it should be safe to consume these", she says.

States affected by the E.coli outbreak include California, Connecticut, Illinois, Massachusetts, Maryland, Michigan, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, and Wisconsin. Retailers are also being asked to discontinue selling romaine lettuce, which is why shoppers no longer see it on store shelves.

Agency officials say consumers should check revamped labels that will now say where and when their romaine was grown. USA officials are also coordinating with the Public Health Agency in Canada, which is also investigating a similar outbreak. Gottlieb confirmed over the weekend that the outbreak is likely tied to California-grown lettuce, but the government hasn't yet amended its advisory.

The FDA, along with Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, warned US residents last week not to consume the lettuce from anywhere because of an E. coli outbreak.

In the meantime, people shouldn't eat any romaine lettuce that doesn't have the label information. "Until such a time that they find the true cause of the outbreak, you should not eat any romaine lettuce", food safety expert Darin Detwiler, director of the Regulatory Affairs of Food and Food Industries program at Northeastern University, tells Yahoo Lifestyle. Forty-three people in 12 USA states have also been sickened.

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A limited recall of romaine in May 2018 led to $70 million less in sales from April to June than in the same period the previous year, according to an industry report. The labels may be extended to other leafy greens, he said.

Authorities in Canada are also helping with the continent-wide investigation, including the CFIA's continued sampling of all produce through its ongoing microbiological surveillance programs for imported fresh vegetables and salads.

Stephen Basore, director of food safety at a Florida romaine grower, said he expects more regulations and self-imposed industry guidelines. Individuals in Ontario, Quebec and New Brunswick should avoid eating romaine lettuce and salad mixes containing romaine lettuce until more is known about the outbreakand the cause of contamination. The hope is such steps will allow the government to lift its blanket warning to not consume romaine lettuce and allow some regions to get their product back into the market.

In a November 26 conference call, FDA said it would allow shipments and sales of Romaine lettuce harvested from areas outside the central coast growing regions of Central and Northern California.

Food poisoning outbreaks from leafy greens are not unusual.

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