Saturday 11 July, 2020

Jamaica bans importation of Romaine lettuce after US E.coli outbreak

The Jamaican Ministry of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries, has suspended with immediate effect, the issuing of permits for the importation of Romaine lettuce from the United States.

This follows an outbreak of E.coli in Romaine lettuce in eleven states across the US.

In a statement Wednesday afternoon, the ministry said imports now in transit will also be seized for destruction upon arrival in Jamaica.

The decision was taken through its Plant Quarantine and Produce Inspection Branch, in collaboration with the Public Health Division of the Ministry of Health.

The ministry noted that consumers in the USA and Canada have been asked to immediately desist from consuming the product until further notice.

“E. coli bacteria pose a serious public health concern and the suspension of the importation of Romaine lettuce is a necessary and urgent step to protect the health of local consumers.

“The suspension of import permits for Romaine lettuce will be enforced until further notice,” the Ministry said.

Under the Consumer Protection Act, consumers are therefore to refrain from purchasing or consuming imported Romaine lettuce until further notice.

“If you have purchased same in the market, discard it immediately or return the package to the grocery store for a full refund,” the Ministry advised further.

For further instruction and advice consumers should contact the CAC at info@cac.gov.jm or call 876-906-5424 .

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