From USDA Agricultural Marketing Service: On November 20, 2018, the US Centers for Disease Control sent out a food safety alert notifying the public that public health and regulatory officials in several states, Canada and the US Food and Drug Administration are investigating a multistate outbreak of Escherichia coli (E. coli) O157:H7 infections linked to romaine lettuce. (https://www.cdc.gov/ecoli/2018/o157h7-11-18/index.html)
CDC is further advising US consumers not to consume any romaine lettuce and retailers and restaurants not serve or sell any romaine until more information is known about the outbreak. At this point, no common grower, supplier, distributor or brand of romaine identified as the source.
As a result, in order to safeguard our personnel and prevent any cross contamination, Specialty Crops Inspection Division is restricting any requests for inspection of romaine and/or any products containing romaine, to the verification of case counts, brands and markings, and statements of applicant’s intent for the product (i.e. dump inspection certificate) until further notice.
Any Agricultural Commodity Graders/Licensee who performs such inspections as listed above should follow proper food handling practices and observe hand washing protocols after handling any such products. Thank you.
For up-to-date information on Food Safety Recalls, please refer to the Montana Department of Health and Human Services (DPHHS) website at: https://dphhs.mt.gov/publichealth/FCSS