Romaine Lettuce Is Recalled in 19 States Due to E. Coli Contamination

Romaine is back on the chopping block—no pun intended—for possible E. coli contamination. Here's what to look out for.

We’ve seen a handful of major recalls already in 2020, from Walmart fruit contaminated with listeria to artificial Christmas trees posing a fire hazard. Of course, the sun doesn’t set on recalls, and we’ve got a new one on the horizon…

This romaine lettuce recall affects 3,396 cartons of product at retailers across 19 states. The states affected include Alaska, Oregon, California, Texas, Arkansas, Oklahoma, Indiana, Nebraska, Missouri, Tennessee, Wisconsin, New Mexico, South Carolina, Washington, North Carolina, Ohio, Virginia, Massachusetts and Illinois. Puerto Rico is also affected. You can find the full FDA statement here.

What products are recalled?

Before you head to the fridge, be sure you know the details of this romaine lettuce recall. The recall comes from Tanimura & Antle Inc. and only affects heads of lettuce, as opposed to salad mixes. Traces of E. coli were found in a random sample taken by the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development during routine testing.

No other Tanimura & Antle Inc. products appear to contain E. coli, and there have been no reports of illness linked to the lettuce so far. Tanimura & Antle Inc. issued a voluntary recall in cooperation with the FDA to warn shoppers about the recalled product that may be in your crisper drawer. If you haven’t done that pre-holiday refrigerator clean-out, now is the time.

This recall app makes getting ahead of the FDA so much easier.

How do I know if I have this lettuce?

Luckily, this lettuce is pretty easy to spot. It was shipped in cases of 12, 15, 18 or 24 heads per case, and any head of lettuce bearing the UPC code 0-27918-20314-9 is at risk.

Every head is also stamped with a “Packed On” date of 10/15/2020 or 10/16/2020, depending on when the purchase was made. Products images are available via the FDA website, too.

I have this lettuce! What should I do with it?

If you have a head of recalled lettuce, discard it ASAP. You can do this by either tossing the lettuce in the trash or returning it to the place of purchase for a refund. If you still need something for dinner tonight (or lunch today), you can typically ask the retailer for an exchange on recalled products.

For any questions about the recall, dial the Tanimura & Antle Inc. Hotline at 877-827-7388. You can reach a customer service representative Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

How can I avoid getting E. coli?

E. coli can cause plenty of unpleasant sensations, but there are ways to avoid it. First, always heed the advice of a recall issued by the FDA, USDA or CDC. Be sure to wash your hands before and after handling raw food items (meat, vegetables, etc.), and always wash raw food items before you cook or eat it.

For more tips on avoiding E. coli, check out our guide to staying safe during an E. coli outbreak. Your family (and your kitchen) will thank you!

Laurie Dixon
Having a passion for writing her whole life, Laurie joined the Taste of Home team to bring together her two favorite things—creative writing and food. She spends most of her time playing with her dog, drafting up short stories and, of course, trying out new recipes.