The Public Health Agency of Canada is advising Canadian foodservice establishments to follow the advice of the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and not sell or serve any romaine lettuce harvested from the Salinas, California growing region in the United States.
This guidance is based on an investigation of an outbreak of Escherichia coli O157, commonly called E. coli, that is linked to romaine lettuce coming from the Salinas, California growing region in the United States by the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the United States Food and Drug Administration, and the United States Food Safety and Inspection Service.
Although an outbreak is not occurring in Canada, the Public Health Agency of Canada has identified one Canadian illness with a similar genetic fingerprint to illnesses reported in the U.S. investigation.
Further, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) has confirmed that romaine lettuce from the affected areas reported in the United States investigation is imported to Canada at this time of year. The CFIA has taken measures to protect consumers and is implementing new actions at the border to ensure that any affected romaine lettuce products are no longer being imported into Canada.
Please note that romaine lettuce harvested in Canada is not affected.
Restaurants and retailers are asked to check the label on bags or boxes of romaine lettuce, or ask their suppliers about the source of their romaine lettuce and take recommended action.
Click here to read the federal government’s public health notice, which will be updated as the Canadian investigation evolves.
If you have any questions or concerns, you can reach out to Carol Patterson, Restaurants Canada Interim National Vice President, Government Affairs, at CPatterson@restaurantscanada.org or David Lefebvre, Restaurants Canada Vice President, Federal and Quebec, at DLefebvre@restaurantscanada.org.