Is Romaine Lettuce Safe To Eat?

You're finally out of excuses for not choosing salad for lunch

Update: It's finally safe to go back to your beloved hand salads and tossed Caesars: After recommending a blanket ban on romaine due to one of the largest E. coli outbreaks (that spread to 32 states and caused the death of at least one patient), the CDC announced yesterday the lettuce is officially safe to eat. According to NPR, romaine is no longer being sourced from Yuma, Arizona, the region where the outbreak is thought to have originated, and is now coming out of California's Salinas Valley. 

Experts are pointing to romaine lettuce grown in Yuma, Arizona, as the cause of an E.coli outbreak that has affected 53 people across 16 states, including California, Idaho, Pennsylvania and New York. Though there have been no deaths, according to The New York Times almost 70 percent of the cases have resulted in hospitalization, with several patients developing a rare type of kidney failure known as hemolytic uremic syndrome. 

However, a recall still hasn't been issued, as the CDC has yet to identify the exact source, grower and distributor for the tainted lettuce. (It doesn't help that most bagged salad, which the outbreak is being linked to, rarely lists the area where it was grown or processed.) As a result, both the CDC and FDA are recommending a blanket ban on romaine.

"If you cannot confirm the source of the romaine lettuce, do not buy it or eat it. If you have already purchased products containing chopped romaine lettuce, including bagged salads, salad mixes, or prepared salads, throw them away," the FDA states in a press release.