TAIPEI (Taiwan News) - The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is tightening import controls on romaine lettuce from the United States and Canada and advises the public not to consume the raw vegetable due to a case of E. coli contamination in the U.S.
From Friday until December 7, batches of romaine imported from the two North American countries will have to be accompanied by a safety certificate or they will be stopped at the border, the Apple Daily reported.
Officially, the FDA has issued a yellow alert for the vegetable, meaning it is “suspicious but without immediate danger,” according to the Central News Agency.
No cases of infections by the E. coli bacteria have been recorded in Taiwan for the past three years, officials said.
In 2018, 98 percent of all romaine imports totaling 4,921 metric tons originated in the U.S., according to FDA data.
Consumers are warned either not to eat the lettuce or to cook it thoroughly, as E. coli is potentially deadly, though none of the 50 patients recorded in the latest outbreak in North America have died, reports said.