National Consumers League

National Consumers League statement on multi-state outbreak of E. Coli linked to romaine lettuce

April 25, 2018

Contact: NCL Communications, Carol McKay, carolm@nclnet.org, (202) 207-2831

Washington, DC – Today the National Consumers League issued a statement on the rash of E. coli O157:H7 reports to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC)--53 total; 31 of which have resulted in hospitalization. Because officials at the U.S. Food and Drug Administration have been unable to identify a specific source – either a brand, supplier, distributer, or producer -- no recalls have been issued, and the consumer group called on regulators to step up their investigation.

This statement is attributed to Sally Greenberg, NCL’s Executive Director:

“The National Consumers League urges federal regulators and public health agencies to continue working together to identify and invest in upgraded pathogen tracing systems. This outbreak spans a large geographical area, infecting consumers in at least 16 states, requiring local, state, and federal investigators to share data as quickly as possible. In fact, new food safety standards were supposed to be in place by now under federal law and regulations, but the progress has slowed to a halt. With innovative biotechnology firms and emerging surveillance technology, the means for preventing this kind of contamination should be firmly in place by now. We urge policy makers to work together more efficiently to protect consumers and ensure the safety of our food supply.”

In 2011, the CDC, FDA, and US Department of Agriculture (USDA) created the Interagency Food Safety Analytics Collaboration to pursue shared food safety goals.

NCL joins CDC and FDA in urging consumers to throw away any eaten or uneaten romaine lettuce products.

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About the National Consumers League
The National Consumers League, founded in 1899, is America's pioneer consumer organization. Our mission is to protect and promote social and economic justice for consumers and workers in the United States and abroad. For more information, visit http://www.nclnet.org.