The US Food and Drug Administration continues to narrow the search for a likely source of an E. Coli contamination linked to romaine lettuce that has sickened dozens of people in Canada and the U.S.
The findings of that ongoing investigation are also prompting Canadian authorities to take further action.
In a statement on Monday, the USFDA reports that
“Preliminary traceback information indicates that ill people in several areas across the country were exposed to romaine lettuce harvested in California. Specifically, current evidence indicates this romaine was harvested in the Central Coast growing regions of northern and central California. ”
In response, the Government of Canada’s food safety partners including the Canadian Food Inspection Agency, Public Health Agency of Canada and Health Canada are taking the following steps.
- 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.
- 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.
Authorities in Canada are also helping with the continent-wide investigation, including the CFIA’s continued sampling of all produce through its ongoing microbiological surveillance programs for imported fresh vegetables and salads.
There is no recall of romaine lettuce in British Columbia, but several Island retailers have removed the item from store shelves or replaced it with romaine grown in area’s known not to be have been affected by the outbreak.
The USFDA says “There is no recommendation for consumers or retailers to avoid using romaine lettuce that is certain to have been harvested from areas outside of the Central Coast growing regions of northern and central California. “