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This Week's Poll



12-5-18

Florida-Grown Romaine Cleared
- New labeling practices for Romaine entering the market

Staff Reports


In a November 27 release, Commissioner of Agriculture Adam H. Putnam announced that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have cleared Florida-grown romaine lettuce. Their ongoing investigation into the multi-state E. coli outbreak has determined that the implicated romaine comes from areas of California. On Nov. 20, the CDC advised the public not to eat any romaine lettuce and, at the same time, the FDA requested that all romaine lettuce in the marketplace be removed.


Commissioner Putnam spoke directly with FDA Commissioner Scott Gottleib and advocated for the reintroduction of Florida romaine into the market, given the timing of Florida’s harvest and the advanced production methods used in Florida.


According to a November 26 release, the FDA, along with the CDC and state authorities, are continuing to investigate the multi-state outbreak of E. coli O157:H7 infections associated with consumption of romaine lettuce in the U.S.


According to the FDA, as of Nov. 26, this outbreak has resulted in 43 people becoming ill in 12 states, with the last reported illness onset date being Oct. 31, 2018. An additional 22 people in Canada have become ill. The FDA and its partners are coordinating the investigation with Canadian health and food safety authorities.


The FDA believes it was critically important to have a “clean break” in the romaine supply available to consumers in the U.S. in order to purge the market of potentially contaminated romaine lettuce related to the current outbreak. This appears to have been accomplished through the market withdrawal request of Nov. 20, 2018.


Based on discussions with major producers and distributors, romaine lettuce entering the market will now be labeled with a harvest location and a harvest date. Romaine lettuce entering the market can also be labeled as being hydroponically or greenhouse grown. If it does not have this information, you should not eat or use it.