By Jeff Chilton
The food industry has seen significant fallout amid recent widely publicized foodborne illness outbreaks and recalls related to romaine lettuce and shell eggs. In USDA regulated facilities, there have been 6 recalls in the past month. Four of these were related to foreign matter contamination, one for E. Coli O157:H7 contamination and one for processing deviations.
The ongoing outbreak of E. coli O157:H7 associated with romaine lettuce has sickened nearly 100 people in 22 states, almost half of them requiring hospitalization. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has advised consumers to avoid romaine lettuce grown in the Yuma, AZ region, salad mixes containing romaine, or if they cannot identify the region where it was grown.