PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is urging Americans “not to eat” romaine lettuce and restaurants “not to serve or sell any” until more information is gathered on a new outbreak. The warning comes just months after romaine lettuce was linked to E.coli which sickened dozens across the country, and even led to five deaths.
The CDC says consumers who have any type of romaine lettuce in their home should not eat it and should throw it away, even if some of it was eaten and no one has gotten sick. This 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.
Marc Varalli, manager of Scannicchio’s Italian restaurant in South Philadelphia took their freshly delivered stash of romaine lettuce out with the trash
“Tonight we will not be serving Caesar salad or our staple dish grilled romaine,” said Varalli.
“If you do not know if the lettuce is romaine or whether a salad mix contains romaine, do not eat it and throw it away,” the CDC says.
Officials say 32 people have been infected due to the outbreak linked to E.Coli which has been reported in 11 states. Illnesses started on dates ranging from Oct. 8 to Oct. 31. No deaths have been reported.
Of the 11 states, three illnesses have been reported in New Jersey.
“So what we did was take all of the romaine that we had, so like romaine hearts, romaine regular fresh, chopped romaine we had and we put it in the back and tried to return them back to the distribution center in Philly,” said David Ramos with Sara’s Produce in Collingswood.
Ramos found out about the outbreak just after finishing up his lunch.
“I had some lettuce that I made last night–some chopped salad romaine,” he said.
Interestingly enough, he was alerted by a worker from the nearby Saladworks who was in to buy iceberg.
This investigation is ongoing, and the CDC will provide more information as it becomes available.
Some area grocers are removing romaine lettuce from the shelves following the warning.