ROMAIN LETTUCE UPDATE
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (“FDA”) issued a statement on November 26, 2018, that it has no information that romaine lettuce grown and harvested in the California desert region of the Imperial Valley, the desert region in and around Yuma, Arizona, Florida, or Mexico is involved in the current E. coli outbreak that caused the FDA and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (“CDC”) to issue a Food Safety Alert regarding romaine lettuce. A link to the statement is set forth here: https://www.fda.gov/NewsEvents/Newsroom/PressAnnouncements/ucm626716.htm. The FDA and CDC have reported that the romaine lettuce believed to be contaminated was concentrated in the Central Coast region of California, where harvesting of romaine lettuce has ended for the year. The areas outside of the Central Coast growing regions of northern and central California do not appear to be related to the current outbreak being investigated.
To enable consumers to understand that the romaine lettuce for sale is from a region unaffected by the Food Safety alert, the produce industry has agreed to label its romaine lettuce products with the identity of the origin of the romaine based on harvest region, along with the date of harvest. Accordingly, we have ordered romaine products that contain the proper labeling and expect to have such products available for distribution to our customers no later than Wednesday December 5, 2018. If we are able to distribute it earlier, we will let our customers know. Due to the turmoil caused by the CDC’s Food Safety Alert, supplies of romaine lettuce and all leafy greens may be limited in the near term.
G. Cefalu & Bro.