Email show FDA worry with growers after romaine outbreaks

NEW YORK (AP) — Emails show a U.S. Food and Drug Administration official’s concerns about the produce industry’s practices after repeated food poisoning outbreaks tied to romaine lettuce.

In emails to colleagues, a senior FDA official said the industry needed to change how it tests water used to grow leafy greens.

Though the FDA has publicly called on the produce industry to step up safety, the emails obtained by The Associated Press through a public records request offer a stark view of the agency’s longstanding frustrations with continued outbreaks.

The U.S. saw two outbreaks last year including one before Thanksgiving that prompted the agency to warn consumers to avoid romaine.

The FDA says it has been working with growers and state agencies to improve safety since then.

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