In January 2020, the FDA will begin collecting and testing 270 romaine lettuce samples for E. coli and salmonella bacteria in the California and Arizona growing regions. (Photo: Fotolia) A number of illness outbreaks were linked to  romaine lettuce in 2019. (Photo: Fotolia)

In November 2019, the Food and Drug Administration announced it would begin collecting 270 romaine lettuce samples in 2020. This sampling process is in direct response to the number of illness outbreaks that were linked to romaine lettuce in 2019, as well as ongoing consumer concern regarding lettuce consumption.

This effort is designed to assist the FDA, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and state public health agencies in identifying sources of contamination and help with the targeting of investigations into foodborne illness outbreaks.

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