Freshway Foods has voluntarily recalled bags of shredded romaine lettuce due to E. coli. At press time, three people have hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS) according to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), which is caused by the E. Coli bacterium. In addition, a total of 19 people have contracted E. coli, and 12 of those people are in the hospital.
Lettuce Recall in Eastern States
The lettuce recall extends to:
District of Columbia
The Freshway Romaine lettuce is a wholesale product sold to grocery stores and restaurants with either the Freshway or Imperial Sysco brand names, according to the FDA. The lettuce recall includes bags of lettuce with a “use by date of May 12, 2010” and earlier dates. A complete list of recalled lettuce products with names and item numbers is included on the FDA press release.
Consumers and Lettuce Recall
Freshway Foods has recalled all products containing Romaine lettuce with a use-by date of May 12 or earlier. These products were sold wholesale to restaurants and supermarkets under the Freshway or Imperial Sysco brands. Consumers are being advised to avoid the store salad bars and delis at the following grocery stores: Giant Eagle, Ingles Markets, Kroger and Marsh store.
Consumer Remedies for Salad Season
According to the FDA, consumers may call Freshway Foods at 1-888-361-7106.
When ordering deli sandwiches from the supermarket, inquire if the romaine lettuce was cut in the store (which can be done daily on a deli slicer) or it it was brought in. If the sandwich maker is unsure, skip the lettuce.
Instead of ordering salads at restaurants, make your own at home. The salads will be fresher and cheap.
Remedies for Safe Salad Preparation
1. Grow your own Lettuce
Salad eaters in Eastern states can grow their own lettuce in the summer months. By starting early, you can produce a couple of crops of your favorite salad greens.
2. Buy Unwashed, Unbagged Lettuce
As convenient as a bag of pre-cut and pre-cut lettuce may sound, it’s better to trim and wash your own whole lettuce leaves. Pre-washed, bagged vegetables make consumers lazy and give a false sense that the food must be safe because it’s already been washed. This form of lettuce is also more expensive, and you’ll save money when you buy a whole head of lettuce.
3. Shop Farmers’ Markets and Local Produce Stores
Shopping locally is the best way to finding the freshest produce. Lettuce and produce from farmers’ markets are also the least processed vegetables, compared to pre-cut, pre-washed, weighed and bag foods.
Lettuce Safety Initiative, http://www.fda.gov/Food/FoodSafety/Product-SpecificInformation/FruitsVegetablesJuices/FDAProduceSafetyActivities/ucm115906.htm
“Romaine Lettuce Recalled Over E. coli,” Contaminated Lettuce Used in Salad Bars and Restaurants in Eastern States