Consumers can again buy romaine lettuce from the Salinas Valley without worry, according to officials.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) officially lifted the romaine advisory to consumers about avoiding lettuce grown in the Salinas Valley area due to E.coli concerns and reported illnesses in several states. The first reports of sickness came in late October and November, with the FDA advisory going out just days before the Thanksgiving holiday almost two months ago on November 22.
The FDA said the traceback investigation identified one grower of 10 fields in the southern Salinas Valley. Officials have tested the areas several times and have not found any of the E.coli strains identified in the recent outbreaks. Three E.coli outbreaks were reported over the last four months, with the biggest affecting 167 people in 27 states. The last reported illness connected to any of the outbreaks was December 21, leading to the cancelation of the romaine advisory.
The FDA and the Center for Disease Control added that the investigation is still ongoing. The agencies noted that the grower and fields identified do not account for all of the reported illnesses. Although investigators haven’t found traces of the identified E.coli strains in their samples, they did find a fourth unidentified strain near a buffer zone on one of the fields.
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