On Monday, November 26, 2018, the Food and Drug Administration announced that its investigation in conjunction with an outbreak involving romaine lettuce is focused on the Central Coast growing regions of northern and central California only. FDA further announced that it had no information to suggest that any other areas producing romaine product are involved in the current outbreak. As such, FDA is lifting its broad advisory for consumers not to eat any romaine lettuce, and instead advises that romaine should not be eaten or used only if not labeled with a harvest location and harvest date.
Dole has pledged to only ship romaine harvested from areas not identified in the revised FDA advisory, and will clearly and prominently label all individually packaged romaine products as to the growing region and harvest date. Further we will ask our retail partners to also clearly and prominently label any individually unwrapped whole heads of romaine lettuce available in retail stores with the growing region and harvest date.
Because of the uncertainty about state and federal health authorities’ ongoing investigation of Romaine lettuce and Romaine products, we feel it’s important for you to know that at this time Dole Fresh Vegetables products are not implicated and that we have not recalled any of our Romaine products, nor has Dole been contacted by any federal or state agency on this.
At Dole Fresh Vegetables, food safety is by far the number one priority of our business. First and foremost, we focus on prevention in the field, where we test for possible food pathogens and apply exacting safe-handling practices. But our vigilance only begins in the field. All of our decisions—the farmers we work with, where we purchase new equipment, the cleanliness of our facilities, what critical controls we implement during processing and packaging, etc.—is viewed through the prism of food safety.
We do all of this so that consumers and their families can continue to enjoy with confidence our fresh and packaged vegetables and salads.
If you’d like more information or to speak live with a consumer response representative, please call our consumer hotline toll-free at 800-356-3111 Monday through Friday 8:00 am to 3:00 pm Pacific Time. That number will also direct to our after-hours service for your convenience.
For the full FDA Press Announcement click here: https://www.fda.gov/NewsEvents/Newsroom/PressAnnouncements/ucm626716.htm