The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recently shared with produce industry representatives their surveillance efforts of raw agricultural commodity romaine lettuce.
This sampling assignment includes the collection of romaine lettuce samples to test for Salmonella spp. and Shiga Toxin-producing E. coli (STEC). Starting this month, the FDA plans to collect 270 samples over the course of a year, with increased frequency in March/April and October/November— production transition periods.
This assignment is designed to help the FDA, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, as well as state public health agencies identify sources of contamination and help with the development of target investigations into foodborne illness outbreaks.
If the FDA discovers Salmonella spp. or STEC in a collected sample, the agency will contact the firm of the findings and work with them to ensure the health of their consumers.