FDA Completes Investigations of 2 Multi-State E. Coli Outbreaks

Single Head Romaine 2020

The FDA and CDC, in collaboration with state and local partners, have completed the investigation on two of three multistate outbreak of E. coli O157:H7 infections in the U.S. this fall. 

One of these investigations, Outbreak Unknown Source 3, identified 18 reported illnesses in nine states: California, Colorado, Illinois, Michigan, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Washington. 

FDA completed a traceback investigation of several potential food vehicles identified in patient interviews and although no single farm was identified as a common source of the outbreak, FDA and state partners also conducted on-site investigations on farms of interest. However, information and samples collected in these inspections did not link these farms to the outbreak. The investigation of a farm does not mean that the farm is linked to an outbreak. The results of an investigation into a farm may well lead to that firm being ruled out of the investigation. On 12/18/2020, the CDC announced that this outbreak had ended.

The other completed outbreak investigation, Outbreak Unknown Source 1, identified 32 reported illnesses in 12 states: California, Illinois, Louisiana, Maryland, Michigan, Montana, New Jersey, Ohio, Utah, Virginia, Washington, Wisconsin. This strain of E. coli is genetically similar to a strain linked to a romaine outbreak that occurred in the spring of 2018, though a food was not linked to the current outbreak. FDA completed a traceback investigation and was unable to determine a common source of the outbreak. FDA and state partners also conducted on-site inspections on farms of interest, though information collected in these inspections did not link these farms to the outbreak. On 12/18/2020, the CDC announced that this outbreak had ended.

Investigations of a third E. coli outbreak of Unknown Source 2 continue. 

Recommendation

Consumers, restaurants, and retailers, were advised not to eat, sell, or serve recalled Tanimura & Antle, Inc. brand packaged single head romaine lettuce with a pack date of 10/15/2020 or 10/16/2020.

The recalled products are now well beyond expiration and likely no longer on the market or in consumers’ homes.

Recall Information

On November 6, 2020, Tanimura & Antle, Inc. recalled single head romaine lettuce under the Tanimura & Antle brand, labeled with a packed on date of 10/15/2020 or 10/16/2020, due to possible contamination with E. Coli O157:H7. Packages contain a single head of romaine lettuce with the UPC number 0-27918-20314-9.

According to Tanimura & Antle, potentially affected product was distributed to the following states: AK, OR, CA, TX, AR, OK, IN, NE, MO, TN, WI, NM, SC, WA, NC, OH, VA, MA, PR, and IL, but product could have been further distributed, reaching additional states, including MI.

Product was shipped in cases packed in either 12, 15, 18 or 24 heads per case. Retailers and distributors can identify the potentially affected products through the Produce Traceability Initiative (PTI) sticker attached to exterior of the case. The PTI codes are 571280289SRS1 and 571280290SRS1.

U.S. Distribution Map of Recalled Tanimura & Antle, Inc. Single Head Romaine Lettuce

Product Distribution*: AK, OR, CA, TX, AR, OK, IN, NE, MI, MO, TN, WI, NM, SC, WA, NC, OH, VA, MA, PR, IL

Single Head Romaine Lettuce Fall2020 Cor Emap Us Distribution

*States with confirmed distribution; product could have been distributed further

Case Counts

For these outbreaks, case counts are found on CDC’s website:

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