The latest romaine recall has expanded to more retailers, with at least 67 cases of E. coli infection having been reported across 19 states. Kroger is the latest retailer joining the list of grocery outlets responding to the warnings issued by the Center for Disease Control (CDC) and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The notice came last week when CDC issued an advisory not to consume romaine lettuce products that originated from Salinas.
“If romaine lettuce does not have labeling information for its growing area or the source cannot be confirmed, consumers should not eat or use the romaine,” said Frank Yiannas, FDA Deputy Commissioner for Food Policy and Response. “Restaurants and retailers should not serve or sell romaine lettuce if they cannot confirm it is from outside Salinas.”
Other retailers including Walmart, Wegmans, Sam’s Club, Target and Aldi have already responded to the romaine recall that has so far sent 28 people to the hospital for E. coli contamination. USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) has recalled more than 97,000 pounds of various types of romaine products, including salad kits, pre-cut hearts of romaine, as well as salad mixes. FSIS altered consumers about the potential for E. coli contamination and advised consumers to avoid salads, sandwiches, and wraps that include romaine lettuce from the Salinas area.
“Most romaine lettuce products at retail are labeled with a harvest location showing where they were grown. CDC and the FDA are advising that if this voluntary label indicates that the romaine lettuce was grown in Salinas, whether alone or with the name of another location, do not eat it,” FSIS said in a statement. “If the romaine does not have information about harvest region or does not indicate that it has been grown indoors (i.e. hydroponically and greenhouse-grown), throw it away or return it to the place of purchase.”
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