Publisher’s Platform: Hey FDA, Leafy Green Industry, please don’t forget those you should have protected

2018 and 2019 were not good years for consumers of romaine lettuce grown in the fields of the southwestern United States, specifically the Yuma growing region of Arizona and the Salinas Valley of California. Although nearly 500 miles apart as the crow flies, the two regions share a notorious history of sickening consumers with a particularly lethal strain of Escherichia coli – O157:H7 – known to strike, and sometimes kill, the most vulnerable among us – children, elderly, and the immunocompromised. The two regions are particularly good at growing romaine lettuce, by virtue of back-to-back growing seasons from Spring to Fall.

Ideal growing conditions are what link these two agricultural areas, where most of the romaine lettuce is the United States is now grown. Salinas boasts California’s best weather in the spring and summer, while Yuma claims to be the sunniest populated place in the United States. As Salinas winds down its 4-month growing…

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