November 21, 2018

Western Growers Statement in Response to Outbreak of E. coli

IRVINE, Calif., (November 21, 2018) — In response to the recent food safety alert issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration linking an outbreak of E. coli O157:H7 to romaine lettuce, Western Growers President & CEO Tom Nassif issued the following statement:

“Our hearts go out to individuals and families impacted by the E. coli outbreak linked to romaine, and our romaine growers and handlers are cooperating fully with federal and state health agencies to identify the source of the contamination. California and Arizona growers place the safety of their produce above all else, and growers and handlers of romaine lettuce in these two states are governed by the most stringent food safety requirements anywhere in the country.

“In the meantime, it is important to acknowledge that a number of regions in current production were not harvesting or shipping romaine at the onset of the outbreak and, consequently, could not be the source of the specific E. coli strain identified in the illnesses. In light of this evidence, we urge the government’s health agencies to work with stakeholders to quickly narrow the scope of the investigation, and to remove these regions from the comprehensive advisory as soon as the safety of the public can be ensured.”

About Western Growers:
Founded in 1926, Western Growers represents local and regional family farmers growing fresh produce in Arizona, California, Colorado and New Mexico. Our members and their workers provide half the nation’s fresh fruits, vegetables and tree nuts, including half of America’s fresh organic produce. For generations we have provided variety and healthy choices to consumers. Connect with and learn more about Western Growers on our Twitter and Facebook

# # #