The Romaine Lettuce Recall


Other alternatives to Romaine Lettuce!

Salma Almoradi, Photojournalist

As of Sunday, November 26, 2018, 43 people in 12 of the US states and 22 people in Canada have become ill due to the E. coli outbreak in Romaine lettuce. Because of the outbreak, the FDA has given several steps to inform consumers about the origins and harvest dates of lettuce.


One suggestion is a labeling program that would force growers and distributors to label where the location of the romaine lettuce was grown, when it was harvested, and the type of environment it was grown in. The FDA said that they are working to find a better way to help identify tarnished produce.The FDA is also requiring  going through a rulemaking process with both the United Fresh Produce Association and the Produce Marketing Association to create a regulation that would be  in charge of the labeling system. Additionally, they noted that the label would cover various types of romaine lettuce.

Several ways to protect produce and health are suggested. For example, to avoid contamination, purchase a whole head of lettuce instead of the bagged salad mixes. Also, don’t try washing bagged lettuce at home because the contamination will not be removed and it might possibly contaminate the lettuce again. Lastly, inspect for any bruising and make sure to wash hands and keep produce chilled after purchase. If one is really craving salad, some good substitute options for romaine lettuce are endives, radicchio, chard, kale, arugula, butter lettuce, spinach, and other greens.

Now that romaine lettuce is gradually starting to coming back into the supermarkets, its prices have doubled. Because the demand has increased so much, the price rising around 160 percent, but that is not stopping lettuce lovers from buying it. Restaurants are also increasing their prices on their salad options. Suppliers are taking advantage and even the other substitute options like spinach, arugula, kale, chard, and radicchio are  increasing in price.

To conclude, this outbreak is serious and has affected many. Supermarkets and restaurants stopped providing or serving anything that contains romaine lettuce or if they are, have been increasing prices drastically. It is important to make sure sure the food is clean before eating it.  When the topic came up, Safia Khan (12) became frustrated because “all [her] favorite restaurants stopped serving  her favorite salad; Caesar salad, but thankfully are starting to serve it again. “ It is apparent that this leafy vegetable has been more appreciated by many!