The FDA is launching a new, temporary testing program for the romaine lettuce from commercial coolers in the Yuma, AZ, growing region. Romaine from the area has been linked to several foodborne illness outbreaks in recent years.
Samples will be tested for Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli (STEC) and Salmonella spp. as part of ongoing surveillance efforts following the spring 2018 multistate E. coli O157:H7 outbreak of foodborne illness. Since then there have been other outbreaks linked to romaine from the Yuma area and parts of California. Salmonella spp. also commonly causes foodborne illness outbreaks in the United States which have at times been linked to romaine lettuce consumption, according to a statement today from the Food and Drug Administration.