Romaine lettuce growers can harvest and send their product to market with special regional labeling. The Food and Drug Administration called the labeling voluntary, which includes harvest location and harvest date.
The labeling agreement was negotiated by a number of romaine grower-shipper-processors, who have each pledged to abide by the labeling suggestions, according to the United Fresh Produce Association. The FDA advisory had virtually banned romaine sales in the United States following a second recent E.coli outbreak. The FDA has isolated that outbreak to the Central Coast growing regions of central and northern California.
In a statement, the FDA believes it was critically important to have a “clean break” in the romaine supply available to consumers in the U.S. in order to “purge the market” of potentially contaminated romaine lettuce related to the current outbreak.