Outbreak related to romaine lettuce from Yuma, Arizona growing region is over
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) along with the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have released separate statements indicating that the E. coli outbreak related to romaine lettuce from the Yuma produce-growing region is now over.
The investigation showed the last shipments of romaine lettuce from the Yuma growing region were harvested on April 16, 2018, so none is currently on the market. It is now safe to eat romaine lettuce.
“It is unlikely that any romaine lettuce from the Yuma growing region is still available in people’s homes, stores, or restaurants due to its 21-day shelf life,” a statement read on the FDA’s web site.
There have been no further illnesses related to the outbreak, which cannot be traced back to a single grower, harvester, processor, or distributor.
“FDA will focus on trying to identify factors that contributed to contamination of romaine across multiple supply chains. The agency is examining all possibilities, including that contamination may have occurred at any point along the growing, harvesting, packaging, and distribution chain before reaching consumers,” according to the FDA website.
The CDC encourages people to visit their site for more information on what action to take, as well as ways to prevent the spread of any contamination when handling produce. Consumers, restaurants, retailers and clinicians should go to https://www.cdc.gov/ecoli/2018/o157h7-04-18/advice-consumers.html for more information.
Arizona Cooperative Extension would like to encourage questions or inquiries about the recent outbreak or general prevention to be directed to Dr. Paula Rivadeneira, Assistant Professor and Extension Specialist in food safety and wildlife, or Dr. Channah Rock, Associate Professor and Extension Specialist in water quality. You can also get more information in the following Extension Publications, “E. coli, Water Quality, Food Safety, and Human Health,” and “E. coli Prevention and Control in Fresh Produce from Farm-to-Fork.”