September 16, 2021

Update on Canadian Import Requirements for Romaine Lettuce

On September 14, 2021, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) released new import requirements for all imported romaine lettuce originating in the United States between September 30 and December 31, 2021. CFIA is implementing temporary Safe Food for Canadians (SFC) license conditions during this period to decrease the risk associated with E. coli in romaine lettuce from the geographical area identified by U.S. authorities as to the source of the outbreaks.

Starting September 30, importers of romaine lettuce and products containing romaine lettuce from the United States must:

  • declare that the product does not originate from counties of Santa Cruz, Santa Clara, San Benito and Monterey in the Salinas Valley, California; or
  • submit an attestation form and Certificates of Analysis for each shipment to demonstrate that the romaine lettuce does not contain detectable levels of E. coli O157:H7

A key change from last year’s revisions is two sampling options instead of one. Sampling can be conducted on finished product or at pre-harvest level, and Western Growers Appendix C is listed as a resource on how to carry out pre-harvest tissue sampling. Click here to see the current version of Appendix C.

The complete details on the SFC license conditions and other existing import requirements are outlined on the CFIA website. These temporary SFC license conditions are in addition to other already existing import requirements, which can be found here.

For a Q&A sheet on Canada import requirements for U.S. romaine lettuce, click here

The CFIA is still working on updating form 5961. Western Growers will update all members if any further information on this becomes available. If any members have questions or comments, please reach out to Western Growers Science at [email protected].