We are getting local reactions to the current E. Coli Outbreak, as it wasn’t too long ago that reports of tainted lettuce produced in Yuma made national headlines.
Romaine lettuce is about 50 percent of the leafy greens grown in Yuma County. Paul Brierley with the Yuma Center of Excellence for Desert Agriculture shares his thoughts on the latest findings along with the Mayor of Yuma shares a statement he just released about the outbreak.
“You know as far as the industry here in Yuma, since there was an outbreak last spring, they’ve been spending this whole off season getting ready for this season and they have new procedures and new training. They want to show the world that there is a safe healthy food supply here and to have this hit now is really heartbreaking. This only effects romaine, not other types of salads or vegetables,” said Brierley.
“As Mayor of Yuma, I support diligence in ensuring the safety and health of the public following the E. coli outbreaks linked to romaine. Yuma farmers, growers, shippers and the entire agriculture industry take this issue seriously, to the point of having the highest standards and practices for food safety in the industry. I don’t believe the source of the outbreak will be traced to the Yuma area. I encourage the Center for Disease Control to come out with findings soon, to identify the source of the outbreak. Delaying this information and issuing a hazard on all romaine has a huge impact and cripples the industry; unnecessarily impacting innocent people,” said Mayor Doug Nicholls.
It should be noted that romaine lettuce like Brierley mentioned is the only leafy green that is hazardous at this time. Iceberg lettuce, kale, spinach and several other leafy greens are safe to consume.