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Canada sets regulations for some romaine grown in certain parts of California


The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) has announced the fall 2022 import requirements for U.S. romaine lettuce with special requirements for certain lettuce produced in California’s Salinas Valley.

Whole-head romaine lettuce and products containing romaine lettuce such as bagged salads that were produced in the four Salinas Valley counties of Santa Cruz, Santa Clara, San Benito, and Monterey must “submit an attestation form and Certificates of Analysis for each shipment to demonstrate that the romaine lettuce does not contain detectable levels of E. coli O157:H7,” according to the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA). 

The requirements are the same as fall 2021, but the enforcement timeframe has shifted. The 2022 requirements now come into effect on Sept. 28 and will end on Dec.22. Pre-harvest sampling and testing will be permitted again in 2022.

Products originating from other areas of the US must “declare that the product does not originate from the implicated counties of Santa Cruz, Santa Clara, San Benito and Monterey in the Salinas Valley, California, U.S.,” according to the CFIA. This declaration can take the form of a letter printed on company letterhead.

Complying with the requirements is the responsibility of the Canadian importer or U.S. non-resident importer. In 2021, a delegate was allowed to be assigned to complete the attestation form.

In recent years foodborne illness outbreaks have been associated with romaine grown in California and Arizona. Some of the lettuce was shipped to Canada where it caused additional illnesses.

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