FDA plans to Change Labeling to Allow the Return of Romaine Lettuce to the Market

On Nov. 23, the FDA Commissioner Dr. Scott Gottlieb Tweeted about a plans to allow romaine to return to the market. This will involve a new labeling standard to aid in tracing products. Dr. Gottlieb said, “the goal now is to withdraw the product that’s at risk of being contaminated from the market, and then re-stock the market.” Gottlieb also tweeted that romaine from different growing regions such as Arizona and Florida will soon be harvested. He said “We’re working with growers and distributors on labeling produce for location and harvest date and possibly other ways of informing consumers that the product is ‘post-purge.’” “We want to help unaffected growers get back into production and enable stores and consumers to re-stock,” Gottlieb tweeted. “One goal we’re seeking is to make this type of labeling the new standard rather than a short-term fix; as a way to improve identification and traceability in the system.” A member alert from United Fresh said that “This is an extremely broad warning to consumers to not eat any type of romaine from any growing region,”. “Despite our urging that industry could clearly identify some sources of romaine coming onto the market as not related to the outbreak, CDC and FDA are also requesting the voluntary withdrawal of romaine lettuce before it enters commerce.” According to a Western Growers statement “ … It is important to acknowledge that a number of regions in current production were not harvesting or shipping romaine at the onset of the outbreak and, consequently, could not be the source of the specific E. coli strain identified in the illnesses,”. “In light of this evidence, we urge the government’s health agencies to work with stakeholders to quickly narrow the scope of the investigation, and to remove these regions from the comprehensive advisory as soon as the safety of the public can be ensured.” @ https://www.thepacker.com/article/fda-looks-labeling-standard-plans-allow-romaine-return?mkt_tok=eyJpIjoiWTJVNVkyWXhabUV3WmpBNSIsInQiOiJqTXoyT2IwSDE1c3JkaE4rNXZVWm5LOUluWmlpV3BRUWxab3Y2WFk0aktua1N2aVlxbjNFbGJHTUIzYW5hUG9VMjFxWkVuTFo2ekwzdDN5NjNyYWdoY2Y5eG1GMU9iMFVEaGFPQkxEU3ZlZktCT1ZNSERcL1VNOU52ekhHUmI0NzEifQ%3D%3D
FDA looks at labeling standard, plans to allow romaine return

In a trio of tweets Nov. 23, FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb referred to plans to allow romaine to return to the market, and a possible new labeling standard to aid in tracing products in future outbreaks.

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