Editor’s note: For a different view on this topic, please see a joint post by Scott Gottlieb and Stephen Ostroff from their vantage points as FDA commissioner and FDA deputy commissioner for foods and veterinary medicine, respectively.

We are in the unique position to know many, but not all, of the “points of sale” – restaurants and grocery stores – involved in the E. coli O157:H7 outbreak linked to romaine lettuce. Having over 100 clients allows us to dig deep into their purchase history and consumption history.

We have already determined clusters of illnesses linked to Panera, Texas Roadhouse, Red Lobsters and Papa Murphy’s. We also have identified a processor – Freshway Foods.

We have reached out to several other retailers, suppliers, processors and growers to ask (first nicely and then with a subpoena) if they will cooperate or not. We will continue our efforts and share what we find with the FDA and the public.

I will not complain here – again – about why the FDA refuses to name those involved – from farms, distributors, processors and  retailers (stores and restaurants). But you can read my thoughts on that here.

Editor’s note: Bill Marler, founding member of Marler Clark LLP in Seattle, is publisher of Food Safety News.

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