A not so public public outbreak of E. coli infections linked to romaine lettuce sickened people in a dozen states from July through early September, but U.S. officials did not release any information about it until Halloween.

Both the FDA and CDC investigated the outbreak of infections from potentially deadly E. coli O157:H7, but the federal agencies “did not identify actionable information for consumers” and therefore did not reveal the outbreak. The top food safety official at the Food and Drug Administration took the opportunity Thursday night to post a statement about the outbreak and to remind the leafy greens industry to review its food safety practices.

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