Wed | Nov 13, 2019

Import licences for Romaine Lettuce suspended

Published:Thursday | November 22, 2018 | 12:00 AM
Health officials in the United States and Canada told people Tuesday to stop eating Romaine lettuce because of a new E. coli outbreak.

Permits for the importation of Romaine Lettuce from the United States (US) have been suspended with immediate effect by the Plant Quarantine and Produce Inspection Branch of the Ministry of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries.

Imports now in transit will also be seized for destruction upon arrival in Jamaica.

The suspension has been done in collaboration with the Ministry of Health's Public Health Division.

The import suspension comes in the wake of the outbreak of E. coli in lettuce in 11 states in the US. Consumers in the US 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, said a statement from the agriculture ministry.

The suspension of import permits for Romaine Lettuce will be enforced until further notice.

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. For further instruction and advice, consumers should contact the CAC at info@cac.gov.jm or call 876-906-5424," a news release from the ministry stated.