FDA Administrator Scott Gottlieb took to Twitter on Thanksgiving to talk about romaine lettuce. In addition to referring to plans to allow romaine to return to the market after the E. coli outbreak in Canada and the U.S., he talked about a possible new labeling standard to aid in tracing products during future outbreaks.
One of his Thanksgiving tweets says the FDA believes the E. coli-infected lettuce came from California. Gottlieb says, “The goal now is to withdraw the product that’s at risk of being contaminated from the market, as well as to re-stock the market.”
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the FDA announced the outbreak on November 20th, asking all levels of the supply chain to remove romaine from the market, as well as the product that hasn’t shipped yet. Gottlieb noted that romaine from Arizona and Florida will be harvested soon. “We’re working with growers and distributors on labeling produce for location and harvest date, as well as possible other ways of alerting consumers that the new product is ‘post-purge,’” he tweeted. “We’re looking to make this labeling the new standard rather than a short-term fix.”