Harvests recently began shifting to southern California and the Yuma, Arizona, region.
"We welcome the step and believe it's a meaningful action by the industry", FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb told POLITICO. "Romaine lettuce entering the market can also be labeled as being hydroponically or greenhouse grown". Last year, this outbreak was actually linked to some leafy greens which were sold in the United States as well as Canada.
Not all types of romaine lettuce contain the E. coli strain, but the recall is in place as a safety precaution, said Joan Salge Blake, a clinical associate professor in the Department of Health Sciences in the Sargent College of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences.
The updated information follows an unusually broad warning that federal health officials issued two days before Thanksgiving, telling consumers to throw away any romaine lettuce they may already have purchased. Several major romaine lettuce producers have agreed to label products with a harvest date by region, and new romaine from different growing regions, including Florida and Arizona, is being restocked in grocery shelves.
When the reported illnesses started, most the romaine sold in the USA was being grown in central California.
The recent moratorium on Romaine lettuce sales was set to be eased November 26 by the U.S. Food & Drug Administration, which is in the process of issuing new guidance for the industry following an outbreak of E. coli that has been attributed to Romaine lettuce.More news: Senate Advances Yemen Bill In Rebuke To Trump After Veto Threat
Early this month, FDA said it couldn't definitively identify the source of the pathogens that contaminated the romaine in that outbreak after an intensive, monthslong investigation - though investigators continue to maintain that canal water was likely the mode of contamination. Most E. coli strains are harmless to humans, but some varieties can cause severe illness.
Most of the individuals who became sick reported eating romaine lettuce before their illnesses occurred.
The FDA said it has no information to suggest that these growing areas are tied to the current E. coli outbreak.
People of all ages are at risk of becoming infected with Shiga toxin-producing E. coli, according to the FDA.
Most people who become ill from an E. coli infection will recover completely on their own.
This particular outbreak is slowly turning out to be a scary one, as the CDC has reported that almost thirteen people have also been recently hospitalized, and not only that, one of these patients has also developed kidney failure, Thankfully, no deaths have been reported till this point of time because of the outbreak. The probe is still underway, but has been narrowed down to some areas in California that grew romaine lettuce over the summer.