Romaine Lettuce Update

FDA and CDC are continuing to investigate the multistate outbreak of E. coli O157:H7 and have issued some new information that I would like to share.

Currently, NC has not identified any illnesses associated with this outbreak, and the most recent onset date that has been reported to CDC is 10/30/2018. (There may be more recent illnesses that have yet to be reported, as average time from illness to report is 2-3 weeks per CDC).

Investigators have narrowed the region of concern to Central Coastal growing regions of northern and central California. FDA has been working with industry partners on a recommendation that romaine lettuce packages will include labeling on harvest location and date. Please know that this is just a recommendation, so it is not enforceable if packages do not include harvest location labeling.

The most current guidance is that any romaine lettuce that has been grown outside the Central Coastal growing regions of northern and central California, is not considered to be part of the outbreak and can be consumed or sold. This also includes any romaine lettuce that has been grown in a greenhouse or hydroponically. Guidance from CDC and FDA states that if you do not know where the lettuce has been harvested from, it should not be consumed. Again, this is guidance and is not enforceable, and product should not be embargoed by local health departments.

I have included the full link to the update below. Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions.

FDA Investigating Multistate Outbreak of E. coli O157:H7 Infections Likely Linked to Romaine Lettuce Grown in California

FDA Investigating Multistate Outbreak of E. coli O157:H7 Infections Like…

Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition

The FDA, along with CDC, state and local agencies, is investigating a multistate outbreak of E. coli O157:H7 ill…

Veronica Bryant, REHS

Emergency Preparedness and Outbreak Coordinator

Division of Public Health, Food Protection and Facilities

North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services

919-218-6943 mobile

Veronica.bryant

5605 Six Forks Road

1632 Mail Service Center

Raleigh, NC 27699-1632