The Canadian Food Inspection Agency is implementing temporary import conditions for romaine lettuce from the Salinas Valley in California for the 2021 growing season.
Due to growing conditions, Canada imports lettuce from Salinas Valley primarily during the fall months.
From 2016 to 2019, romaine lettuce from California was linked to outbreaks of E. coli illnesses in the United States and Canada.
Food safety investigations by Canadian and U.S. authorities identified the Salinas Valley growing region as a recurring source of E. coli outbreaks.
In Canada, there have been seven documented outbreaks of illnesses associated with romaine lettuce, and 16 recalls of romaine lettuce or products containing romaine lettuce due to E. coli O157:H7 from 2010 to 2019.
Between September 30 and December 31, 2021, importers of romaine lettuce and products containing romaine lettuce from the U.S. are required to provide proof that the product does not originate from counties in California’s Salinas Valley.
They can also be required to provide a certificate to show the romaine lettuce does not contain detectable levels of E. coli O157:H7.
Similar temporary import conditions were implemented during last year’s fall season.