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CDC, FDA clear Florida-grown romaine lettuce, state officials say

Agencies continue to investigate multi-state E. coli outbreak

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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Florida-grown romaine lettuce has been cleared to eat as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Food and Drug Administration continue to investigate a multi-state E. coli outbreak, Florida officials announced Tuesday.

The CDC found the affected romaine comes from areas of California, according to Florida Commissioner of Agriculture Adam Putnam.

On Nov. 20, the CDC advised the public not to eat any romaine lettuce and, at the same time, the FDA requested that all romaine lettuce in the marketplace be removed. 

“Americans deserve a safe, nutritious and abundant food supply, and I’m alarmed to hear that dozens of people have been sickened with this foodborne illness,” Putnam said. “While the federal investigation is ongoing, I’m encouraged that Florida-grown romaine lettuce is not linked to the outbreak and has been cleared to re-enter the marketplace.” 

On Nov. 21, Putnam spoke directly with FDA Commissioner Scott Gottleib and advocated for the reintroduction of Florida romaine into the market, given the timing of Florida’s harvest and the advanced production methods used in Florida, and followed up with a letter

For more information about the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, visit FreshFromFlorida.com.

About the Author:

A Jacksonville native and proud University of North Florida alum, Francine Frazier has been with News4Jax since 2014 after spending nine years at The Florida Times-Union.