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Romaine Lettuce Alert
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) are investigating a multistate outbreak of E. coli O157:H7 infections linked to romaine lettuce. An investigation is ongoing, and until more is known about the outbreak, CDC and FDA are advising consumers not to eat romaine lettuce and restaurants and retailers not to sell romaine lettuce. If you do not know if the lettuce is romaine, do not eat it.
No Indiana produce farms have been implicated in this investigation. Although the U.S. food supply is one of the safest in the world, the recent outbreaks linked to leafy greens and romaine lettuce understandably cause concern. The ISDH continues to work closely with FDA and the leafy green industry to understand the cause of these outbreaks and what can be done to reduce contamination and protect people from illness. As information is known, ISDH Food Protection will post recalled product information.
Any areas where romaine lettuce was stored, including refrigerators, countertops, and cutting boards, should be cleaned and sanitized. Wash hands with warm water and soap after cleaning.
Food Protection Program
The Indiana Food Protection Program, within the Indiana State Department of Health, strives to ensure a safe and wholesome food supply throughout the State of Indiana. The Program develops regulations, conducts routine inspections, investigates foodborne illness complaints, and responds to other food emergency incidents. The Food Protection Program participates in cooperative food safety inspection programs with other state, federal, and local agencies.
The Food Protection Program is divided into two different focus areas, a Food Safety focus and a Food Defense focus.
The Food Safety Section has regulatory authority and conducts inspections, with Food Safety Inspection Officers (FSIOs), of food establishments on state property, manufacturing plants, processors, warehouses, packagers, and transporters and of food products for distribution to another entity for resale or redistribution. The FSIO’s also provide training and technical assistance to local health departments, consumers and businesses.
The Food Defense Section provides guidance, with Food Defense Program Coordinators, to Indiana's food retailers, producers, processors, and distributors on how to conduct vulnerability assessments and develop food defense plans. They developed and maintain the Food Emergency Response Plan and works with other entities and programs toward protecting food from intentional acts of contamination. They also manage the Indiana Food Safety and Defense Task Force.