Romaine Lettuce Recalled for E.Coli


Image: Rainer Zenz

If you live in the South, the Midwest, or on the East Coast, watch out for Romaine lettuce: It’s been recalled. Freshway, which provided the lettuce, issued the recall. The lettuce has made 19 people in New York, Ohio, and Michigan sick; 12 of those people were hospitalized. The Christian Science Monitor has the story:

A lettuce recall is causing wholesalers, restaurants, delis, and grocery stores in 23 states to pull romaine products off their shelves.

While these companies are expected to pull most of the suspect lettuce before it reaches consumers, consumers should watch out for so-called “grab and go” salads containing romaine lettuce sold at in-store salad bars and delis at Kroger, Giant Eagle, Ingles Markets, and Marsh stores, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) warns.

The romaine lettuce comes from Freshway Foods and is sold under the Freshway and Imperial Sysco brands in Alabama, Connecticut, District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Missouri, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia, and Wisconsin.

They have a “use by” date of May 12 or earlier. Consumers who have such salads from Freshway should throw them away, the company says. Consumers with questions can call the company at 888-361-7106 on weekdays (8 a.m. to 5 p.m. EDT) or visit its website for updates (www.freshwayfoods.com).

This isn’t the first time bagged lettuce has made people sick. In separate instances in 2006, Dole bagged salads and spinach were both found to contain E.Coli. Although that was four years ago, nobody has figured out how E.Coli gets into lettuce. Experts theorize that it could have to do with the way lettuce is cut, animal waste in crop water, and bird droppings on crops. But nobody knows for sure.

Here’s hoping they find out this time around.