The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has declared the end of an E. coli 0157:H7 outbreak linked to leafy greens in the California Central Coast region during the fall of 2020. According to the Produce Marketing Association, no specific type, brand or supplier was identified as a source of infection. The investigation identified the outbreak strain in a sample of manure from a roadway near the fields of interest.
Frank Yiannas, U.S. Food and Drug Administration deputy commissioner for food policy and response said:
“Notably our traceback investigation of this outbreak found the outbreak strain in a sample of cattle feces collected on a roadside about a mile upslope from a produce farm. This finding draws our attention once again to the role that cattle grazing on agricultural lands near leafy greens fields could have on increasing the risk of produce contamination, where contamination could be spread by water, wind or other means. We continue to recommend that growers of leafy greens assess and mitigate risks associated with adjacent and nearby land use practices, particularly as it relates to the presence of livestock, which are a persistent reservoir of E. coli O157:H7 and other Shiga toxin-producing E. coli. Increasing awareness around adjacent land use is one of the specific goals of the Leafy Greens Action Plan released last March.
The outbreak sickened 40 people in 19 states. For news release, link here: https://bit.ly/3cnbZ7K