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Consumer Alert: Toss the Romaine Lettuce

You have a better chance of picking up clean, fresh-cut romaine lettuce from local farmers.

The Centers for Disease Control recently alerted consumers that romaine lettuce coming out of Arizona might be tainted with E.Coli and not safe to eat.

In an alert posted on April 20, 2018, the CDC advised that people “not buy or eat romaine lettuce at a grocery store or restaurant unless you can confirm it is not from the Yuma, Arizona, growing region.”

If romaine lettuce is your leaf of choice, you have a better chance of picking up clean, fresh-cut romaine lettuce from local farmers.

Robert McMahon, the owner of Southern Fresh Farms, explained that the spread of E.Coli happens in a processing plant where produce is chopped, packed or canned.

“When an infected plant goes through a chopper then everything that falls through and touching that machine has a chance of getting that E.Coli spread to it,” Robert explained.

Although there’s no guarantee, Robert suggested the best way to avoid contaminated produce is to buy fresh.

“Even in a grocery store if you see a whole head of romaine, chances are it was harvested and packaged in the field and doesn’t have a chance to touch other plants and cause widespread problems,” he said. “You rarely hear of outbreaks from fresh-cut products.”

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