Salad-lovers rejoice: according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the answer to the question, “Is romaine lettuce safe to eat?” is finally yes. Go ahead and grab a head from your local grocer’s shelf—minus the fear of getting a major bacterial infection.

The CDC issued a country-wide recall of romaine lettuce from Oct. 7 to Dec. 4, 2018 following an E. coli outbreak that included 62 illnesses with 25 hospitalizations. On Jan. 9, 2019 the CDC issued a statement letting us all know that, “This outbreak appears to be over.”

Photo: Liz Muir via Flickr

After an investigation of the outbreak, the CDC and U.S. Food and Drug Administration identified the sources of the E. coli outbreak inside an agricultural reservoir at Adams Bros. Farming Inc. Farm in Santa Barbara, California.

Contaminated lettuce products were pulled from store shelves, thrown out of restaurants and removed by consumers from their homes. So unless you happened to freeze some fairly old lettuce (which really isn’t recommended), eating romaine is safe once more.

Even though the recall is officially over, you should always make sure to thoroughly wash and dry all fruits and vegetables before eating them to reduce your risk of contracting food-borne illnesses.

—Erica Loop



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