Wed | Jul 8, 2020

Ban on imported Romaine lettuce still in place

Published:Friday | November 29, 2019 | 12:14 AM
Romaine lettuce.
Romaine lettuce.

In the wake of the recent outbreak of E.coli in the United States affecting Romaine lettuce, the Ministry of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture, and Fisheries is reminding consumers and traders that the ban on imported Romaine lettuce, which was imposed in November 2018, is still in effect.

No Romaine lettuce is, therefore, currently being imported into the island. Other varieties and locally grown lettuce are safe to consume.

The reminder from the ministry’s Plant Quarantine and Produce Inspection Branch comes against the background that on November 22, forty persons in 16 states in the USA became ill and were hospitalised after consuming Romaine lettuce, which contained E.coli.

The bacteria pose a serious threat to public health, causing diarrhoea, urinary tract infections, respiratory illness, and pneumonia, among other illnesses.

Last year, the Plant Quarantine Branch, working in collaboration with the Public Health Division of the Ministry of Health and Wellness, suspended the issuing of permits for the importation of Romaine lettuce.

Imports that were in transit were seized and destroyed upon arrival in Jamaica.