January 28, 2021

FDA Concludes Investigation of 2020 E. Coli Outbreak; Plans Surveillance Activity

On January 27th, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced the conclusion of its investigation of the 2020 outbreak E. coli O157:H7 infections associated with leafy greens. While a final investigation report is yet to be released, the agency has shared an important finding regarding the presence of a recurring strain of E. coli O157:H7 in aregion area within Salinas Valley.

According to FDA Deputy Commissioner Frank Yiannas in a recent press announcement, FDA traceback investigation have found the outbreak strain in a sample of cattle feces collected a mile from a produce farm, raising food safety concerns from cattle grazing near leafy green fields.

FDA will continue to review the findings and plan to release a final investigation report outlining the agency’s findings and recommendations shaped by these findings. In the meantime, the agency recommends growers assess and mitigate risk associated with adjacent and nearby land use practices in the areas described in their Leafy Green Actions Plan. While the year 2020 appears in this action plan, the agency will continue to advance work into 2021 and beyond. Surveillance efforts in the Yuma region are forthcoming in the next few days with a “cooler sampling” focus. The agency will be sharing more details when this leafy green surveillance assignment is posted online at the FDA website.

For more information, please contact Sonia Salas at [email protected]