(JAMAICA OBSERVER) – The Ministry of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture, and Fisheries is reminding consumers and traders that the ban on imported Romaine lettuce, which was imposed in November 2018, is still in effect and has not been lifted.
Therefore, no Romaine lettuce is currently being imported into the island but other varieties and locally grown lettuce are safe to consume, the ministry said.
The reminder from the Plant Quarantine and Produce Inspection Branch of the ministry comes against the background that on November 22, 40 persons in 16 states in the USA became ill and were hospitalised after consuming Romaine lettuce, which contained E coli.
The bacteria pose a serious threat to public health, causing diarrhoea, urinary tract infections, respiratory illness, and pneumonia, among other illnesses.
Last year, the Plant Quarantine Branch, working in collaboration with the Public Health Division of the Ministry of Health and Wellness, suspended the issuing of permits for the importation of Romaine lettuce.
Imports that were in transit were seized and destroyed upon arrival in Jamaica.
For further information consumers should contact the Consumer Affairs Commission (CAC) at [email protected] or call 876-906-5424.
For further clarification, importers and distributors may contact the Bureau of Standards Jamaica at 876-926-3140-5 or 876-618-1534.