Update Concerning Romaine Lettuce Scare

Leafy greens producers offer new information that can help restaurants and consumers purchase lettuce after E. coli outbreak.




Public health advisories are now for ALL romaine lettuce.

Pixabay

UPDATE FOLLOWING THE BELOW PRESS RELEASE:

Warnings now include ALL romaine lettuce. Federal health officials are warning everyone not to eat any romaine lettuce unless you know where it's from. The CDC advisory now includes whole heads and hearts of romaine lettuce, along with chopped and bagged romaine and salad mixes that include romaine. Read more at CBS News.

SACRAMENTO, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--In response to the multi-state outbreak of E. coli O157:H7 involving chopped packaged romaine lettuce that was announced by government health agencies April 13, leafy greens producers are offering information for consumers, retailers and restaurants to help them navigate romaine purchasing decisions.

“The leafy greens community takes the responsibility of producing safe leafy greens very seriously. Not only are the foods we grow eaten by our own families, but they are consumed around the world,” said Scott Horsfall, CEO of the California Leafy Greens Marketing Agreement. “Our deepest sympathies go out to those people whose lives have been impacted by this outbreak.”

Government health agencies have narrowed the cause of the outbreak to chopped romaine lettuce from the Yuma, AZ growing region. Investigators have not yet been able to identify a common supplier, distributor or brand.

Nearly all of the romaine currently harvested and shipped throughout the U.S. is from California growing areas, which have not been identified by the government as being associated with this outbreak. Leafy greens production typically transitions from Arizona to California at this time of year. According to the Arizona Department of Agriculture shipments of romaine lettuce from the Yuma, AZ growing region have ceased.

“We know that government investigators are doing all they can to pinpoint the exact source of the outbreak. In the meantime, people may be confused about what leafy greens are safe to eat,” said Horsfall.

To assist consumers, retailers and restaurants, the LGMA offers the following information:

Public health advisories are only for chopped, packaged romaine lettuce from Yuma, AZ. No other romaine products are involved. Unpackaged romaine; packaged romaine heads or hearts that are not chopped; or any romaine products grown in California are not part of the advisory.

The latest government tracking indicates that the first illnesses related to this outbreak were reported to be on March 13th and the most recent on April 7th. This means that any product involved would likely have been harvested and shipped in early March. With respect to any romaine lettuce purchased prior to the announcement of this outbreak, please follow government advisories.

Because of the perishable nature of romaine lettuce, it is very unlikely that any romaine lettuce from Yuma, AZ that was purchased and consumed in mid-to-late March is still available in stores or other distribution channels.

Although the exact brand or brands of lettuce that may have caused this outbreak is not known, government agencies, retailers, restaurants and producers quickly acted to do everything possible to remove any product that could possibly have been involved in this outbreak. Because of the collaborative nature of the industry and the ability to trace the product to the originating area, this quick action helped minimize further risk to consumers.

The California and Arizona Leafy Greens Marketing Agreements represent the U.S. produce industry’s most rigorous food safety program. The programs include mandatory food safety practices and frequent government audits are required to ensure practices are being followed.

“Our members are required to be in 100 percent compliance with required LGMA food safety practice. Every LGMA member and their operations are inspected by government auditors, who verify more than 150 food safety checkpoints. These audits take place about 5 times per year for every LGMA member company,” said Horsfall.

Horsfall also noted the LGMA system was designed so that it can be changed and updated as necessary. The industry is now working with government regulators, scientists and food safety experts to determine what more might be done to further strengthen the program.

Contacts

CA LGMA
April Ward, 916-441-1240

Edit Module

Tell us what you think at or email.

Edit Module
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Related Articles

The Juicy Lucy Puts a Pizza Twist on a Minnesota Classic

Giordano's pays homage to a famous Minneapolis-style cheese-stuffed burger.

What to Do When You Get a Letter From the IRS

A letter doesn't always signal an audit, but you need to make sure any tax notice is handled properly.

Customers Have to Pay $10 or More for Pizza Hut's $5 Menu

The new menu features various types of food for customers on a budget, but there is a catch.

Little Caesars Franchisee Blames $5 Hot-N-Ready Deal for His Stores’ Demise

The chain won a prolonged battle with franchisee Alan Knox, but now there are no Little Caesars stores in Kansas City

Teenage Pizzeria Manager Drives 225 Miles to Deliver Pizza to Dying Man

Dalton Shaffer, 18, of Steve's Pizza told no one of his good deed for Rich Morgan, but the news went viral thanks to a Facebook post by Morgan's wife.

Your Pie Teams With Zapp's to Create Potato Chip-Topped Voodoo Pie

Just in time for Halloween, the limited-time signature pizza features Cajun ingredients and is topped with Zapp's Voodoo Potato Chips.

Lost Pizza Co. Feeds Hundreds of Hurricane Michael Survivors in Panama City, Fla.

The Deep South pizza chain's co-founders Brooks Roberts and Preston Lott organized relief efforts in two states.

Sex or Pizza? Man Who Has Eaten Cheese Pies For Dinner for 37 Years Has to Think About It

Mike Roman of Hackensack also likes peanut butter sandwiches for lunch - and nothing else.

Surviving the Winter: 7 Ways to Keep Pizzeria Sales Hot in Cold Weather

You can build up your wintertime pizza business through seasonal marketing and menu strategies.

Flippy the Robot Wows Baseball Fans With Fry-Cook Skills at Dodger Stadium

The robot can also flip burgers and scrub grills, posing a possible solution to a worker shortage in the restaurant industry.
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit Module
Edit Module
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit Module
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags