In The Romaine Lettuce E. Coli Outbreak Emphasizes the Need For Change And Technology

The current outbreak of E. coli in lettuce demonstrates the difficulty of discovering just how and when the lettuce was contaminated. According to FDA in the case of the people sickened at an Alaska correctional facility, the contamination occurred not at the farm where the whole-head lettuce was grown and harvested but elsewhere in the packaging and distribution chain. The lettuce was harvested, put in boxes, shipped to another facility (or multiple ones), stored under refrigeration, washed, chopped, and then packaged in bags that may include plain romaine or various salad mixes (that could contain other lettuces or vegetables grown from other farms) that contained the romaine. The CDC estimates that nearly half of all food-borne illnesses are caused by produce. @

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