Coli outbreak potentially linked to farms in California, FDA says

Romaine Lettuce Contaminated by E. Coli FDA’s New Warning Says That Only Lettuce From Parts of California Should Be Avoided

The Food and Drug Administration put the measure on hold when the produce industry said such tests wouldn't necessarily help prevent outbreaks. However, there is no genetic link between the current outbreak and the E.coli O157:H7 outbreak linked to romaine that occurred in the Spring of 2018. Retailers are also being asked to discontinue selling romaine lettuce, which is why shoppers no longer see it on store shelves. The industry says the change was in place for lettuce now being grown in Yuma, which hasn't been implicated in the latest outbreak. Hydroponic lettuce and lettuce grown in greenhouses also do not appear to be affected by the outbreak.

The CDC, which is the Center for Disease Control, has recently given a warning to the people of USA regarding an outbreak of E. coli, which has caused problems for a large number of people in the region.

Now, the Malaysian Ministry of Health has issued a statement yesterday (26th November), confirming that Malaysia does import Romaine lettuce from the US and the ministry has been screening the imported lettuce using the "Stop, Test, and Release" protocol that was initiated on 23rd November.

"Romaine as a category has had a year that's been unfortunate", Whitaker said.

The FDA and industry leaders, scrambling to respond to yet another E. coli outbreak tied to romaine lettuce, have agreed to a deal to give consumers more information about where their lettuce is from.

Earlier this year, the situation was almost reversed: Some in the industry started putting stickers on product saying the lettuce was from California to differentiate from the Yuma region, though officials weren't able to pinpoint the problem to Yuma until right at the end of the season. "The CDC has called out romaine - they didn't call out any other kind of lettuce or leafy green", Detwiler says.

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An additional 22 people in Canada have become ill, and the FDA and our partners are also coordinating the investigation with Canadian health and food safety authorities.

However, according to CDC, 32 illnesses have been reported from 11 states, including 13 people who have been hospitalized. Irrigation water tainted with manure was identified as a likely culprit, and investigators noted the presence of a large animal feeding operation nearby. But officials in Canada identified romaine as a common source of illnesses there.

"Our investigation at this point suggests that romaine lettuce associated with the outbreak comes from areas of California that grow romaine lettuce over the summer months, and that the outbreak appears to be related to "end of season" romaine lettuce harvested from these areas", the FDA said in a statement.

Food poisoning outbreaks from leafy greens are not unusual.

The updated information follows an unusually broad warning that federal health officials issued two days before Thanksgiving, telling consumers to throw away any romaine lettuce they may already have purchased.

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