Romaine Lettuce Is Being Recalled from a Confirmed E. coli Outbreak in California
Bad news for salad-lovers: The CDC issued a food safety alert last Friday telling people to avoid eating romaine from Salinas, CA, as there have been 40 reported cases of E. coli. Yikes.
In the alert, the CDC said that this includes all types of whole heads of romaine, the hearts of romaine, and any packages of precut lettuce and salad mixes that might contain romaine and that have been created in Salinas, CA. So, if your romaine does not include a region on the label or you aren’t sure if it’s romaine, you’re better off just getting rid of it to be extra careful.
This is a serious case of outbreaks, so it’s best to be vigilant. There have been 40 confirmed cases of E. coli from 16 states, and 28 cases have included hospitalizations. Luckily, there haven’t been reported cases of deaths thus far. Here is a map of reported cases, so you can track and see what’s been going on.
“We are concerned about the potential for contaminated lettuce on store shelves and in people’s refrigerators,” the Director of the CDC’s Division of Foodborne, Waterborne and Environmental Diseases, Dr. Robert Tauxe, said to USA Today in a statement. “Heading into the Thanksgiving holiday, it is critically important to avoid buying or eating romaine lettuce from the Salinas growing area so you can protect yourself and your family,” he continued.
So, take extra precaution if you are in an associated, high-risk area, as this most recent outbreak is caused by the same strain of E. coli that had been reported from the past two years. Beyond tossing the romaine, make sure to clean any surfaces and kitchenware that might have been in contact with it. It’s better to be safe than sorry!