CDC, public health and regulatory officials in several states, and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) are investigating a multi-state outbreak of E. coli O157:H7 infections linked to romaine lettuce harvested from the Salinas, California growing region. At this time, the CDC has advised consumers not to eat and retailers not to sell romaine lettuce harvested in this region.
Indoor Grown Romaine is Safe to Eat
Hydroponically- and greenhouse-grown romaine, which is voluntarily labeled as ‘indoor grown,’ from any region is not related to the current outbreak. Bowery Farming can confirm that our romaine, and all of our leafy greens, are safe to eat.
There are many benefits to growing indoors, among them is the ability to have a controlled environment that’s secure from pathogens. Bowery Farming is also Safe Quality Food certified, one of the most rigorous levels of certification, and every individual that enters our farms is required to wear sterile protective clothing and go through sanitation checks.
Situations like this make us pause and remember why traceability and transparency are so important in our food system.
For the long-distance salad supply chain, there are many safety vulnerabilities. These include field production exposed to pathogens, co-mingling of lettuce from multiple sources at processing facilities, and an overly complex and opaque supply chain that makes tracing difficult.
There are many reasons why Bowery Farming’s system is structurally safer. And to us, consumers deserve transparency, which is why we control every aspect of the growing process, from seed to store, ensuring quality, traceability, and care at every step.
Our thoughts are with everyone impacted by this outbreak.