During the last year, the Romaine lettuce markets have been shut down two separate times by the federal government following epidemiological links of certain Romaine products to illnesses and deaths caused by E. coli pathogens. The tragic illnesses and persistent negative publicity surrounding these events has eroded confidence in the healthy products the leafy greens industry produces every day and draws attention away from the food safety advancements made by many members of the leafy greens industry.
Based on results from the FDA traceback work, as well as industry research, open source irrigation water has been identified as a meaningful risk factor for promoting the harborage and transmission of pathogens when not managed properly. More specifically, research has shown that an untreated water source, coupled with overhead irrigation techniques, can prove to be a synergistic combination for the growth and transmission of certain harmful pathogens. Fortunately, this risk can be mitigated through on-site treatment of the water, for organisms of concern, prior to usage.
Through this letter, Taylor Farms is committing to source product from Leafy Green Growers who take this additional step to treat water coming from and/or distributed through open sources prior to use in overhead irrigation. Starting May 1, 2019, Taylor Farms is committed to only source leafy green products which are grown in conformance with the heightened water standards mentioned above.
Along with managing irrigation water more stringently, Taylor Farms is committing to engage in continuous research in our farming, manufacturing and transportation processes to develop science-based solutions for identifying and eliminating risk that ultimately impacts the products that we depend on. The success of our industry is dependent on the industry delivering safe and wholesome products. This is a critical next step.
Taylor Farms California