Francisco Diez, director of UGA’s Center for Food Safety, was recently quoted in an article by WCNC about the increase in romaine lettuce recalls.
In light of four or more recalls in the past two years, people are skeptical about the food, and investigators are curious as to why it has caused more than 100 people in 25 states to get sick.
“I don’t think we understand completely the reasons why we’re seeing what we’re seeing right now,” he said.
Diez adds that the structure of lettuce could be important.
“It has microscopic structures called stomata,” he said. “The organisms can hide in these structures and remain established in the lettuce.”’
Regardless of the reason, new regulations are helping growers avoid contamination, and new packaging is helping people identify where their romaine lettuce was grown. These tactics should help reduce sickness and waste.