After repeated food poisoning outbreaks linked to romaine lettuce, the produce industry is confronting the failure of its own safety measures in preventing contaminations.
The E. coli epidemic revealed that Thanksgiving had killed more than 200 people and killed five and killed one in the spring and 25 killed the previous year. No deaths have been reported in the latest outbreaks, but dozens of diseases, grown in open areas and consumed as raw, vegetables undermine the challenge of eliminating the role of nearby cattle farms, which produce large quantities of fertilizer and delay in more stringent federal foods. security regulations.
A controversial aspect of the embodiment would require, for example, testing of irrigation water for E. coli. The Food and Drug Administration suspended this measure when the manufacturing industry said that such tests would not help prevent epidemics. Other sanitation-related arrangements for workers and equipment – other sources of potential contamination – have only recently been implemented.
FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb said that once the rules were fully met, he thought he would prepare the vegetables for safer eating.
I I don’t think that any element of this would be a magic bullet, G Gottlieb said.
Health officials say advanced detection can see more frequent outbreaks. Nevertheless, it intensifies growers and regulators to prevent, capture and pollute soiling.
It is not yet known how romaine is contaminated in its latest outbreak.
The spring outbreak was watched from Yuma, Arizona to Rome. Irrigation water irrigated with fertilizers was found to be a possible culprit, and researchers recently pointed out the existence of a large animal feeding operation.
Then, an industry agreement in Arizona and California was set to expand buffer zones between vegetable plantations and livestock. The industry, he says, is in place for lettuce grown in Yuma, which is not associated with the recent outbreak. However, Trevor Suslow of the Produce Marketing Association said there was no consensus on the exact distances that could effectively prevent contamination.
He said there are special buffer zones that do not require new federal rules for safety.
. They’re looking at the industry to determine what is the appropriate distance, Sus said Suslow.
Susum said that the irrigation water in Yuma, which will bring plant leaves into contact with chlorine, started to kill potential contaminants. However, he said that such treatment has raised concerns about soil and human health.
Meanwhile, the proximity of production areas to cattle operations is likely to continue to pose a problem. Travis Forgues, dairy farmer Organic Valley, said the consolidation in the dairy industry has led to larger livestock operations, which produce large quantities of fertilizer.
Already, the industry agreement in Arizona and California requires leafy green growers to test the water for green E. coli.
But Food Safety Research Director James Rogers in Consumer Reports said a federal need is important to conduct a water test. Because Romaine was often minced and bagged, a single contaminated batch on a farm jumping test said a lot of people could have made the patient sick.
Teressa Lopez, of the Leafy Greens Marketing Agreement in Arizona, said the federal regulation could be more adaptable, despite the stricter measures taken by the industry agreement.
Despite industry measures being implemented after a spinach outbreak more than a decade ago, health authorities said that this month has been the result of 28 E. coli outbreaks associated with leafy greens.
The manufacturing industry says the failure to prevent the Yuma outbreak may also reflect the limitations of the water test for generic E. coli.
Elizabeth Bihn, a food science expert at Cornell University, said the tests were looking for fecal matter in water. The problem is that the farmer who says ına there are pathogens in some feces, there is some feces, “is part of a federal program that helps new producers comply with regulations.
Bihn, harmful E. coli strains are more difficult to be tested and the possibility of other harmful bacteria does not exclude, he said.
The whole genome sequence makes it easy to identify outbreaks that put pressure on the manufacturing industry.
The FDA warned against all the romainals last week because it could identify it as an early resource. The agency has narrowed its warning to romaine from the Central Coast of California after the manufacturing industry has agreed to label romaine with harvest dates and regions, so people know what they have to do.
Labeling is voluntary and the industry said it would consider whether it would be extended to other leafy greens. Gottlieb said that increasing traceability would allow targeted health warnings that do not harm the entire sector. The FDA recently hired a former Walmart manager using blockchain technology to increase the traceability of the retailer’s supply chain.
Stephen Basore, director of food safety at a romaine producer in Florida, said he expects more regulations and self-executing industry guidelines.
”There is always a problem, our emergency response protocols are not enough,“ he said.
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