UPDATE: Public Health Notice Outbreak of E. coli infections linked to romaine lettuce

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) has just released an update on the November 20, 2018 notice informing the public of an outbreak of E. coli that they are associating with romaine lettuce. At this time, the outbreak appears to be restricted to Ontario, Quebec and New Brunswick only.

The Government of Canada, working in collaboration with industry, is taking the following immediate actions in order to give Canadians confidence that the produce they buy remains safe:

  • The CFIA is advising the food industry, including importers, not to import romaine lettuce from the suspect areas identified in the U.S. FDA's investigation, until further notice. As FDA notices :

At the time of the outbreak, the vast majority of the romaine on the market was being grown in the Central Coast region of California. Since, then harvesting of romaine lettuce from this region has ended for the year. Growing and harvesting of romaine lettuce is now shifting to the winter growing regions of the U.S., which include mainly the California desert region of the Imperial Valley, the desert region of Arizona in and around Yuma, and Florida. Romaine lettuce grown in Mexico is exported to the U.S. during the winter months. Smaller quantities of romaine lettuce are grown in other states. At this time, the FDA has no information to suggest any of these growing areas are involved in the current outbreak, which began well before any romaine lettuce from these winter growing locations was available for harvest. In addition, hydroponic romaine lettuce and romaine lettuce grown in green-houses is also marketed in the U.S., but there is no information to suggest these products are implicated in any identified E. coli O157:H7 outbreak.

  • The CFIA will implement additional control measures to verify that products from the areas identified in the U.S. FDA's investigation are not being admitted to Canada. This includes, for example, greater scrutiny of product destined for Canada.

Please find the links to the official updated notices below :

In English

  • CFIA

Public Health Notice - Outbreak of E. coli infections linked to romaine lettuce

Food safety investigation

In English

  • FDA

Statement on the current romaine lettuce E. coli O157:H7 outbreak investigation

  • CDC

Food Safety Alert : Outbreak of E. coli Infections Linked to Romaine Lettuce

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