The California Department of Public Health has confirmed that several cases of E. coli linked to romaine lettuce was grown and distributed by Amazing Coachella Inc. in Coachella, California. The lettuce sickened at least nine people in California in April 2012, 18 people in New Brunswick Canada, and one person in Quebec. Those cases were matched to the outbreak strain.
Most of the victims in California ate at a single restaurant, which public health officials have not named. The lettuce was sold as whole heads, not cut or processed. Since the outbreaks occurred in two different countries, contamination happened at the distributor level and the restaurants were not suspected as the cause of contamination.
Since the field had been prepared for the next harvest when officials began their investigation, they were not able to find any problems that caused the contamination. Officials did not make any recommendations for changes at the farm, but said they are going to monitor the facility’s products for any additional positive samples. At this time, the investigation is closed.