Federal investigators have found a number of California farms that may have produced the E. Coli-contaminated romaine lettuce which caused an outbreak in late 2018 that sickened 62 and hospitalized 25 across 16 states.
Officials announced the threat in the days leading up to Thanksgiving, sparking a national movement to prevent the spread of food poisoning from eating lettuce laden with the bacterium.
Leading commissioners at the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recommended that farmers review federal rules on growing produce safely and stated the agency “will work with the produce industry to create quick and accurate ways to trace outbreaks back to their source.”
A food manufacturer or distributor typically launches a recall if there is a reason to believe that a food product is unsafe or mislabeled. Otherwise, recalls are requested by government agencies, such as the Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) or the FDA.
Once a food safety problem is identified, federal agencies are responsible for informing the public and investigating to locate the source. As part of this process, the FSIS and FDA publish information and regularly update the list of active food recalls and alerts. Staying up-to-date on this important, time-sensitive information can help to keep our loved ones safe.
To protect yourself and your family from dangerous food sources, here are some ways to stay updated with federal recalls and alerts:
- Visit this FSIS page to get information on active recalls and safety alerts organized by category
- Click this link to be notified at the release of information on recalls and public health alerts, including allergy alerts
- You can ask specific food safety-related questions and find expert information available 24/7 at www.askkaren.gov, a part of the FSIS’s website