The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Food and Drug Administration (FDA) have announced that romaine lettuce from the Yuma, Arizona, growing region has passed its 21-day shelf life. Because of this, romaine lettuce that is currently being grown and sold is not from that region, nor a source of E. coli contamination.
The CDC tweeted the following statement:
E. coli update: The last romaine lettuce shipments from the Yuma growing region were harvested on April 16 and are now past their 21-day shelf life. The romaine lettuce being sold and served today is NOT the romaine linked to illnesses.
The FDA released the following statement:
The FDA has received confirmation from the Arizona Leafy Greens Marketing Agreement administered by the Arizona Department of Agriculture that romaine lettuce is no longer being produced and distributed from the Yuma growing region and that the last date of harvest was April 16, 2018. It is unlikely that any romaine lettuce from the Yuma growing region is still available in stores or restaurants due to its 21-day shelf life.
The FDA is continuing to investigate illnesses related to romaine lettuce from the Yuma growing region. The ongoing traceback investigation indicates that the illnesses associated with this outbreak cannot be explained by a single grower, harvester, processor, or distributor. While traceback continues, FDA will focus on trying to identify factors that contributed to contamination of romaine across multiple supply chains. The agency is examining all possibilities, including that contamination may have occurred at any point along the growing, harvesting, packaging, and distribution chain before reaching consumers.