California Romaine Lettuce
The Canadian Food Inspection Agency is implementing temporary import conditions for romaine lettuce from the Salinas Valley in California for the 2021 growing season. The conditions apply to romaine from Santa Cruz, Santa Clara, San Benito, and Monterey.
Between Sept. 30 and Dec. 31, 2021, importers of romaine lettuce and products containing romaine lettuce from the United States will be required to provide proof that the product does not originate from counties in California’s Salinas Valley, and certificate of analysis for each shipment to demonstrate that the romaine lettuce does not contain detectable levels of E. coli O157:H7.
Similar temporary import conditions were implemented during the same period in 2020.
The temporary requirements add an extra level of control to the food safety measures already in place under the Safe Food for Canadians Regulations Act (SFCA) and the Safe Food for Canadians Regulations (SFCR).
As of Jan. 15, 2021, the SFCR requirements came into force for most businesses in the fresh fruits or vegetables sector that import, export or engage in interprovincial trade.
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.