The FDA has released the results of an investigation into an E. coli outbreak last fall that led to 40 illnesses across the country.
Inspectors traced the outbreak to a cattle pasture uphill from a farm. But the agency did not share any information about the farm, its location or the product brand. The strain was identical to one involved in a 2019 outbreak in romaine lettuce traced back to the Salinas Valley.
The California Leafy Greens Marketing Agreement immediately responded to the FDA report, assuring customers the issue is being addressed. A special committee has been working to develop additional measures to prevent such contamination from neighboring lands.
The Produce Marketing Association (PMA) encouraged FDA to share details of the findings with leafy greens stakeholders and CDFA advisory groups. A PMA spokesperson said that “timing is critical to allow these private-public partnerships to fully capitalize on opportunities to provide science- and risk-based guidance in advance of the rapidly approaching production season.”