Industrywide Statement in Response to Outbreak
All we have are the facts available to us.
- The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has not identified what food likely caused this foodborne illness. No public agency has contacted any Romaine lettuce grower, shipper or processor and requested that they either stop shipping or recall product already in the marketplace.
- Even if this outbreak is actually confirmed to be caused by Romaine lettuce, it’s important to recognize this is a highly perishable product with a limited usable shelf life and it’s highly unlikely a specific affected lot would still be available for sale or in a home refrigerator with the last U.S. illness being reported on December 8 and the last Canadian illness reported December 12.
- Food safety remains a top priority of leafy greens farmers, shippers and processors and the industry has robust food safety programs in place that incorporate stringent government regulatory oversight.
- Our leading produce industry associations have and will continue to cooperate fully with public health officials investigating this foodborne illness outbreak.
- Anytime we see an outbreak of any foodborne illness, our hearts go out to the victims.
United Fresh Produce Association
Produce Marketing Association
Canadian Produce Marketing Association
California Leafy Greens Agreement
Arizona Leafy Greens Agreement