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Canada Imposes Restrictions on U.S. Romaine Lettuce

10/04/2020

According to the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CAFI) website, Canada will impose restrictions on Romaine lettuce imported from the U.S. effective October 5th through December 31st.  Requirements are:-

 

  • Importers must hold a Safe Food for Canadians License
  • The location where Romaine lettuce was grown should be identified
  • Romaine lettuce from California and Arizona must be packed by a member of the appropriate state Leafy Greens Marketing Agreement
  • Consignments must be accompanied by certificate showing that a representative sample was free from E.coli 0157:H7 tested in accordance with designated procedures

 

The Vice-president of policy and issue management for the Canadian Produce Marketing Association, Jane Proctor noted that producers and importers were surprised by the September 28th announcement and complained that the measures were developed without consultation and are probably not practical within the time frame designated by the CAFI supported by Health Canada.  Jennifer McEntire, Senior Vice President of Food Safety and Technology for the United Fresh Produce Association pointed to the logistical challenges represented by the restrictions imposed by Canada.

 

As yet there have been no outbreaks of STEC reported in Canada and the requirements are intended as a proactive measure to prevent a recurrence of infection among consumers in Canada.