June 15, 2024

Canada Issues Temporary Requirements for US Romaine

Canada issues temporary requirements for romaine lettuce imported from the United States after several E. coli O157:H7 outbreaks were linked to that food. The lettuce is imported from the California Salinas Valley counties of Santa Cruz, Santa Clara, San Benito, and Monterey.

Canada Issues Temporary Requirements for US Romaine

Safe Food For Canadians (SFC) license conditions have been implemented for the romaine lettuce originating from the United States between September 28 and December 20, 2023. That includes romaine lettuce and salad mixes containing romaine.

Importers must declare that the product does not originate from those areas, or submit an attestation form and Certificates of Analysis for each shipment to demonstrate that the lettuce does not contain detectable levels of E. coli O157:H7. These conditions are in addition to other existing import requirements.

If there is no valid Proof of Origin, the license holder’s preventive control plan must include a written procedure describing how the sampling and testing requirement is implemented, and each shipment is accompanied by a form provided by the CFIA.

For finished product sampling, the sampling lot must be one type of romaine lettuce no larger than the equivalent of one truckload of product, or no more than 45,000 pounds. For each sampling lot, the minimum sampling and testing requirement is a total sample weight of 1500 grams, consisting of 60 individual random sample units of 25 grams each.

For pre-harvest sampling, the sampling must be conducted no more than seven days before harvest. A sampling lot is a 2 acre field or less of homogeneous romaine lettuce crops that has been exposed to the same agricultural conditions.

Testing must be performed in a laboratory that is accredited by a body that is a signature to the International Laboratory Accreditation Cooperation (ILAC) Mutual Recognition Agreement (MRA). A presumptive positive result is treated as a positive result unless a confirmation test is performed within 24 hours of the first test and produces a negative result.

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