The United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) will target sampling of leafy greens in the Salinas Valley of California from mid-September through October 2022. The plan is to collect about 240 lettuce samples. Some farms and ranches have been identified in recent traceback investigations as potential sources of foodborne illness.
The FDA may also collect samples such as water soil and animal waste, as appropriate. All samples are to be tested for several species of Salmonella and Shiga-toxin producing E. coli 0157:H7 (STEC).
Sampling results between May and November 2021 have been summarized and published. The FDA reports detection of Salmonella enterica in one green leaf sample and STEC in two other samples. In all cases, potentially contaminated product was destroyed and follow-up inspections were conducted.
The FDA says that continued outbreaks and ongoing concerns about safety of leafy greens warrant continued preventive efforts across the supply chain.
Looking ahead, the FDA will be looking at the sanitary design of harvest equipment and how field production and processing practices may be contributing to contamination events.
Source: Food Safety Magazine September 8, 2022