FDA has identified Harrison Farms of Yuma, Ariz., as the grower and sole source of the whole-head romaine lettuce that sickened several people in an Alaska correctional facility. Because FDA has not determined where in the supply chain the Shiga toxin-producing E. coli O157:H7 contamination occurred, it is examining all possibilities, including that contamination may have occurred at any point along the growing, harvesting, packaging, and distribution chain.
All of the lettuce in question from Harrison Farms was harvested during March 5-16 and is past its 21-day shelf life. Because the growing season in the Yuma region is at its end, the farm is not growing any lettuce at this time.
The remainder of illnesses in this outbreak are not linked to romaine lettuce from Harrison Farms. Most people reported eating a salad at a restaurant, and romaine lettuce was the only common ingredient identified among the salads eaten. The restaurants reported using bagged, chopped romaine lettuce to make salads. Traceback does not indicate that Harrison Farms is the source of the chopped romaine that sickened these people.
FDA is continuing to investigate the source of the chopped romaine lettuce that caused these illnesses and has identified dozens of other fields as possible sources. It is working to identify multiple distribution channels that can explain the entirety of the nationwide outbreak and are tracing back from multiple groupings of ill people located in diverse geographic areas.
To date, the FDA also has no evidence that other types of lettuce, or romaine lettuce grown outside of the Yuma growing region, are involved in this outbreak.
For more information on the outbreak, visit https://www.fda.gov/Food/RecallsOutbreaksEmergencies/Outbreaks/ucm604254.htm.