How to Avoid Unsafe Lettuce
The Centers for Disease Control has issued a warning not to buy or consume lettuce grown or near Salinas, California. At least 10 people have suffered kidney failure after eating romaine lettuce in the latest E. coli outbreak. The total number of illnesses has gone from 67 to 102 in just the past week as the outbreak has spread to 23 states, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Of that number, 58 have been hospitalized. The infected romaine lettuce was grown in or near Salinas, California, the CDC reports. Officials are advising people to check labels to see where the lettuce was grown before eating it. The CDC notes that washing or even cooking romaine lettuce will not make it safe. Most romaine lettuce products are labeled with a harvest location showing where they were grown. Please check the labels before purchasing any lettuce.
The CDC shares the following guidelines:
If you have romaine lettuce or packaged foods containing romaine at home:
- Look for a label showing where the romaine lettuce was grown. It may be printed on the package or on a sticker.
- If the label says “grown in Salinas” (whether alone or with the name of another location), don’t eat it. Throw it away.
- If it isn’t labeled with a growing region, don’t eat it. Throw it away.
- If you don’t know if the lettuce is romaine or whether a salad mix or wrap contains romaine, don’t eat it. Throw it away.
- Wash and sanitize drawers or shelves in refrigerators where romaine lettuce was stored. Follow these five steps to clean your refrigerator.