Canada called the imported romaine lettuce E. coli outbreak over after eight people were sickened. It is expected that the CDC will update the US part of the outbreak in the morning. The numbers of ill are likely to be far above 200 and the number of deaths may likely rise as well. Those with long-term complications – (HUS) will still be extraordinary high, as will be the percent of hospitalizations.
Thus far the FDA has been “somewhat silent” on the chain of distribution and will unfortunately remain so. Here is what they have told the public as of the end of May:
We have been busy doing both a trace forward and trace back. With over 100 clients, most can identify the specific place that they consumed romaine (point of service) in the 3-5 days before the onset of illness. Some have multiple purchases and consumptions, which for now, make linking the supply chain a challenge. But I like a challenge.
I expect that the various retailers (points of service) will continue to provide information on the supply chain (distribution center, processor, grower/harvester) – either willingly or by subpoena. And, once we have that information (trace back), we can than trace forward to eliminate situations where E. coli culture matched victims had multiple purchases in the incubation period.
Check back for more information.
Retailers above, please give me a call.