The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has updated its Leafy Green STEC Action Plan (LGAP), which outlines the agency’s efforts to reduce foodborne illness outbreaks linked to leafy greens that were caused by Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli (STEC).
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has identified a reoccurring, emerging, and persistent (REP) strain of Escherichia coli O157:H7—REPEXH02—that has been implicated in significant foodborne illness outbreaks linked to leafy greens from 2016–2019.
The California Leafy Greens Marketing Agreement (LGMA) has announced its Romaine Test and Learn initiative, a two-year food safety study commencing in October 2023, which will leverage LGMA members’ individual testing data to elicit meaningful, aggregated information to better understand potential microbial risks to leafy greens food safety.
Recent flooding in California included many ranches in the Salinas Valley, which grow leafy greens and other crops.Floodwaters have the potential to contain various pathogens that can directly cross-contaminate future product grown in those fields, as well as nearby fields.Bringing land back into production is an area of great concern.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has worked with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to update the protocol for the development and registration of antimicrobial treatments for preharvest agricultural water, removing Listeria monocytogenes from the organism test panel.
The Joint FAO/WHO Expert Meeting in Microbial Risk Assessment (JERMA) convened in response to a Codex Alimentarius Committee request to develop microbiological risk assessment models for Listeria monocytogenes, and to provide recommendations to inform possible future revisions to Codex guidelines on hygienic controls for L. monocytogenes.
The Center for Produce Safety (CPS) has funded 14 new research projects that will help answer the fresh produce industry’s most urgent food safety questions related to leafy greens, stone fruit, pears, foodborne pathogens, indoor farming, and other topics.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has announced that it will conduct targeted sampling of leafy greens as part of the Leafy Greens STEC Action Plan (LGAP). The agency also provided updates on the progress of LGAP and a summary report of a 2021 sampling assignment.