Time to toss your romaine lettuce—into the trash

Tongs turning romaine hearts on the grill
Photo: Lisa Romerein (Getty Images)

The FDA has published a company announcement by Tanimura & Antle, Inc., a California produce grower, alerting customers that its romaine lettuce might be contaminated with E. coli. The announcement was posted on November 6, and concerns single head romaine lettuce only.

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“Out of an abundance of caution, Tanimura & Antle Inc. is voluntarily recalling its packaged single head romaine lettuce under the Tanimura & Antle brand, labeled with a packed on date of 10/15/2020 or 10/16/2020, due to possible contamination with E. Coli 0157:H7,” reads the statement in part. “Packages contain a single head of romaine lettuce with the UPC number 0-27918-20314-9. No other products or pack dates are being recalled. There have been no reported illnesses associated with the recalled product.”

A random sampling of the produce by the Michigan Department of Agriculture selected during routine testing indicated potential contamination of lettuce shipped to 19 different states. The good news is that, due to the relatively short shelf life of romaine lettuce, it’s unlikely that grocery stores are still carrying the questionable romaine—but that doesn’t mean you don’t still have some in your crisper at home.

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If you think there’s even a possibility that your lettuce is the tainted stuff, throw it out. You don’t want to take any chances when it comes to E. coli; according to the company announcement, this strain of the bacteria can cause “diarrheal illness” that can lead to kidney damage and even death. No salad in the world is worth that risk.

Marnie Shure is editor in chief of The Takeout.

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DISCUSSION

So if it didn’t come packaged in a plastic bag, it’s OK?