Why romaine lettuce scare could impact other leafy-green vegetables
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is advising retailers not to sell any romaine lettuce, including private branded product, because of concerns over a new E. coli outbreak which has sickened at least 32 people in 11 states.
The CDC also advised consumers not to eat any romaine lettuce until the agency learns more about the outbreak. The illnesses began in October and have hospitalized at least 13 people, the CDC said. No deaths have been reported, and no recalls have been issued.
“This advice includes all types or uses of romaine lettuce, such as whole heads of romaine, hearts of romaine, and bags and boxes of precut lettuce and salad mixes that contain romaine, including baby romaine, spring mix and Caesar salad,” the CDC reported.
The CDC urged consumers who have any type of romaine lettuce in their home to throw it away, even if some of it was eaten and no one has gotten sick.
The CDC said the investigation is ongoing and will be updated as more information is available.
"[An issue] of this magnitude, especially during the holiday week, will impact not only romaine but other leafy green vegetables such as spinach,” said Michael Droke, a partner at the international law firm Dorsey & Whitney who is devoted to the areas of agriculture and cooperative law, in a statement issued by a public relations agency. “Retailers will be pulling romaine and possibly all other lettuce/leafy greens from their shelves (a process called quarantining) until the source is found.”