Surprise Canadian plan on romaine import requirements raises alarm

The CFIA is preparing a draft regulation requiring importers of romaine from California’s Santa Cruz, Santa Clara, San Benito and Monterey counties to provide a certificate of analysis for each shipment to demonstrate that the product does not contain detectable levels of E. coli O157:H7. The CFIA draft regulation said the measure will be in effect from Oct. 5 to Dec. 31. The announcement caught the industry by surprise. The measures are new temporary and preventative in nature and not in response to any current E. coli contamination.“While we recognize and share government’s commitment to ensuring the safety of Canada’s food supply, these measures were developed without consultation, are not achievable in the timeframe provided, and are resulting in significant impacts on Canadian industry and consumers and, of course, on the entire romaine growing community in the affected U.S. counties,” Proctor (VP of policy and issue management at the Canadian Produce Marketing Association) said. Many organization related to the produce industry have major concerns related to the regulation, especially about publishing it 8 days before it goes into effect. @

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