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FDA launches food safety initiative on leafy greens

The US Food and Drug Administration is launching a new initiative to better understand the ecology of human pathogens. This follows the outbreak of E. coli in romaine lettuce in the Yuma region that resulted in more than 200 reported illnesses.

The FDA Is partnering with the University of Arizona, the Wellton-Mohawk Irrigation and Drainage District, and Yuma area leafy green stakeholders to improve food safety.  

Frank Yiannas is deputy commissioner of the FDA.

“We are going to collaborate with the University of Arizona and the Yuma leafy green industry to conduct a multiyear longitudinal study where we hope to identity potential risks and what farmers can do to mitigate those risks,” he says.

The FDA says research terms will be collecting and examining samples from the environment such as surface waters, canal sediment, and dust. The group will also study the impact that animal intrusion and native wildlife may have on the growing environment.  

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