Some would say, why it took so long?
Canada Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) is now requiring testing of romaine lettuce from the Salinas Valley, but not from Yuma.
Romaine lettuce imported from the United States has been associated with several outbreaks of foodborne E. coli O157:H7 illnesses in Canada and the USA. Food safety investigations and trace-backs from U.S. authorities have identified a recurring geographical area as the source of the outbreaks. This area encompasses the California Salinas valley counties of Santa Cruz, Santa Clara, San Benito and Monterey.
Due to the reoccurring nature of the outbreaks in Canada the CFIA is implementing temporary import conditions for romaine lettuce originating from these growing areas. This import requirement will require importers of romaine lettuce from the implicated regions in the USA to provide a Certificate of Analysis for each shipment to demonstrate that the product does not contain detectable levels of E. coli O157:H7. This measure is in effect for all shipments arriving in Canada between October 7 and December 31, 2020.
The CFIA will allow the importation of romaine lettuce from the USA if:
- the importer has a valid Safe Food for Canadians license
- the importer indicates the geographical origin of the romaine lettuce
- romaine lettuce grown in California has been handled by a certified member of the California LGMA
- romaine lettuce grown in Arizona has been handled by a shipper that is a certified member of the Arizona LGMA
- romaine lettuce from the California counties of Santa Clara, Santa Cruz, San Benito and Monterey is accompanied by a certificate of analysis demonstrating that sampling was conducted according to the sampling and testing requirements and the product does not contain detectable levels of E. coli O157:H7
- if a declaration of origin of the romaine lettuce is not available, a certification of analysis must be provided
Why not Yuma?