The latest statement from the FSA dated14-07-2016
‘The FSA is continuing to work closely with PHE and local authorities to investigate an outbreak of E.coli O157. The outbreak has been linked to eating mixed salad leaves, including rocket leaves; however a specific food source has not been confirmed at this stage’.
Herbs Unlimited would like to provide reassurances to our customers that we have taken actions to tighten the testing measures to demonstrate due diligence and enable validation that the Rocket we import from Italy and supply to our customers does not contain E.coli.
During summer we mainly use Green Mizuna in the salads as a replacement for rocket, however to ensure that we have enough components to meet our customers’ demands some of the salads do contain Rocket which is sourced from Italy. Two approved suppliers are used who we work closely with. We have a programme in place which the growers work to and we have visited their facilities. All the water used by our growers is treated with UV prior to irrigation, to manage microbiological and hygiene risks. Both suppliers are aware of the incidents currently regarding Ecoli 0157 in the UK. These suppliers regularly submit samples to external laboratories for microbiological testing. In view of recent events and to give assurances to their customers, our suppliers have submitted and will continue to submit additional samples, which to date have all been confirmed as negative.
We at Herbs Unlimited have taken in process samples of unwashed and washed Rocket and submitted these to an external UKAS accredited Laboratory for microbiological analysis, no issues have been identified to date with E.coli and we will be taking additional samples going forward to validate ongoing free from E.coli 0157 status, during the FSA investigations.