Recalls are back—and right before Thanksgiving. We’re no stranger to finding E. coli traces in romaine lettuce. (You remember the major romaine recall debacle from last year.) Last week, ready-made salads from retailers like Aldi, Walmart and Target were recalled due to possible E. coli contamination. Now, the CDC has issued a romaine lettuce recall that affects all types of romaine lettuce harvested in Salinas, California.
The lettuce was distributed across the United States, and affects both retailers and restaurants. Here’s what to avoid in your grocery store and on the menu.
What products are recalled?
This lettuce recall includes whole heads of romaine, hearts of romaine, precut lettuce and salad mix. You should avoid baby romaine, spring mix and Caesar salad mix, too. Romaine lettuce grown and harvested outside of Salinas, California is deemed safe for consumption, but you should double-check the labels in your fridge.
The FDA is conducting an investigation, and as of December 4, 2019, the E. coli outbreak has affected 102 people in 23 states. So far, cases have been reported in Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Iowa, Idaho, Illinois, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Montana, Nebraska, New Jersey, North Carolina, New Mexico, Ohio, Oregon Pennsylvania, South Dakota, Texas, Virginia, Washington and Wisconsin. The FDA and CDC encourage all consumers to check their refrigerators and crisper drawers to be safe.
How do I know if I have one of these products?
Be on the lookout for any packages stamped with a label reading “Salinas.” Some packages are stamped with “Salinas” and another location, and those are just as dangerous. If any of your products have moved through Salinas, California, make sure to get rid of them ASAP. You should also be wary of romaine products that don’t bear a location stamp. If you’re not sure whether or not a salad mix contains romaine lettuce, it’s best to discard it.
I have one of these products! What should I do with it?
Do not eat any romaine lettuce products labeled “Salinas, California.” The CDC warns that all of these products should be tossed immediately. If you don’t know where your romaine lettuce is from, get rid of it. Keep an eye on the products you put in your cart during the next shopping run, too. Restaurants have been warned about the romaine lettuce recall, but for the time being, you may want to avoid the salad menu.
How can I avoid getting E. coli?
If the CDC or FDA recalls a product, you should throw it out. If the product contaminated any drawers in your fridge or surfaces in your kitchen, scrub them all thoroughly. E. coli can be avoided by following proper hand-washing etiquette and by rinsing all raw foods you pick up from the grocery store.
For more advice on keeping your family safe from E. coli, check out all of our tips for beating that bacteria.