Joint Statement on E. coli Outbreak Upate

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has identified one farm as a source of the whole-head romaine lettuce that sickened several people at a correctional facility in Alaska as part of a multi-state outbreak of E. coli O157:H7.  However, the agency has not determined where in the supply chain the contamination occurred.

Since learning of this outbreak, we have been working with the FDA and the Centers for Disease Control to understand everything we can about this outbreak and we will continue to do so. FDA continues to look for other sources of romaine that may be involved in this outbreak. But with this new information identifying a farm, the produce industry can begin to focus our attention on learning how romaine from the Yuma, AZ region became a vehicle in this tragic outbreak.

Those impacted by this outbreak remain in our thoughts. Our members who grow leafy greens are committed to doing everything possible to prevent foodborne illness outbreaks.

Food safety is our top priority and the produce industry has existing systems in place that will allow us to examine this issue comprehensively so that necessary changes can be incorporated into food safety programs utilized throughout the leafy greens industry.


Arizona Leafy Greens Marketing Agreement
California Leafy Greens Marketing Agreement
Grower-Shipper Association of Central California
Produce Marketing Association
United Fresh Produce Association
Western Growers


FDA’s latest update
CDC’s latest update
Statement form Arizona LGMA

Excerpt from Arizona LGMA statement:

Our heartfelt thoughts and prayers continue to be with those impacted by this incident.  Every increase in the case count is a stark reminder of the size and scope of our reach. It’s not just one of our members, it’s every field worker, manager, farmer, harvester and shipper, among others. Every time the CDC updates its numbers, we feel it. The entire Yuma community feels it.

 

The romaine harvest has ceased in the Yuma growing region, and the tightly networked community that comprises the Arizona Leafy Greens Food Safety Committee is committed to using this incident to further strengthen the program as it looks to the next growing season.

– Teressa Lopez
Arizona Leafy Greens Food Safety Committee Administrator


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