Thursday 9 July, 2020

Hadco stops importation of romaine lettuce in face of E Coli outbreak

Hadco has ceased the importation of romaine lettuce and has advised their customers with the product on their shelves to dump it.

This as authorities in the United States and Canada attempt to find the source of an E Coli outbreak which they said has been traced to that type of lettuce.

On Tuesday, the Centres for Disease Prevention and Control (CDC) advised consumers in the US to dump all of their romaine lettuce since they were not able to trace the source of the disease to a common grower, supplier, distributor, or brand.

John Hadad, co-CEO of Hadco, a distributor of imported romaine lettuce, told Loop that there are a number of things they do almost instantaneously once they get notice of any problem.

“Whatever we cleared last night we are sending to dump which is a small amount and whatever we have on the trade we sent out word to dump it,” he said.

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He said they will not resume importation until they are absolutely sure and an all-clear has been given.

As news spread of the recall, one local eating establishment was quick to assure customers that they do not use imported romaine.

Wrapworks Deli posted on its Twitter page that they do not serve imported romaine lettuce from the US and Canada which is under investigation.

“We serve local organically grown baby red romaine lettuce which is not being investigated. We serve imported iceberg lettuce which is not being investigated,” the company posted.

When contacted, Subway’s Brand Manager Asha Sanmoogan said their restaurants only use iceberg lettuce.

Loop also contacted the Minister of Health Terrence Deyalsingh and Minister of Agriculture Clarence Rambharat about the handling of the issue by their respective ministries.

“We are currently looking at it and as soon as we are ready to issue the statement as we did last week for the Duncan Hines we will do the same thing with this,” said Deyalsingh.

Rambharat said his Ministry will handle the issue at the point where the import permit is sought.

“We maintain advisories in the public regarding the handling, storage and preparation of fresh fruit and vegetables particularly those which are susceptible to contamination by unclean water, contact with soil, contact with flood waters and other external factors, “he said.

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