This month the FDA will begin testing romaine lettuce for the presence of pathogenic Escherichia coli (E. coli) and salmonella. This undertaking is a result of contaminated romaine lettuce caused three separate, multistate E. coli outbreaks. The three outbreaks killed five people and made another 295 sick. The purpose of the study is to identify sources of contamination and factors that may be contributing to them. Neither the FDA nor the industry has been able to determine exactly where all the outbreaks occurred, or how the romaine lettuce became contaminated. The testing program, which will continue until November 2020, is intended to help identify the cause of contaminated romaine lettuce. The agency will take 270 samples throughout the year, increasing the frequency during the spring and fall, when foodborne illness outbreaks associated with romaine lettuce consumption have most frequently occurred. Sampling will only include raw romaine lettuce before it is commingled during fresh-cut processing. If the FDA detects Salmonella spp. or pathogenic E. coli in a sample, the agency will notify the firm of the findings and work with the firm to take appropriate action to protect the public health. The agency may consider multiple compliance and enforcement actions based on the available evidence and the adequacy of the firm’s response to prevent future contamination. Enforcement activities include actions to correct and prevent violations and to remove contaminated food from the market, as appropriate. @ https://www.upi.com/Top_News/US/2019/11/19/FDA-begins-testing-romaine-lettuce-after-E-coli-outbreaks-sicken-hundreds/1711574113189/
FDA begins a year-long testing romaine lettuce for pathogens
FDA begins testing romaine lettuce after E. coli outbreaks sicken hundreds
The Food and Drug Administration this month will begin wide-scale testing of romaine lettuce for the presence of E. coli and salmonella.