Stores, restaurants react to romaine lettuce link to E. coli out - WFMJ.com News weather sports for Youngstown-Warren Ohio

Stores, restaurants react to romaine lettuce link to E. coli outbreak

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YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio -

If your favorite salad includes chopped romaine lettuce, you might want to call ahead to your local grocery store's produce department or restaurant before you head out to buy some.

Some businesses may not be selling or serving romaine lettuce in the wake of an E. coli outbreak that has sickened 35 people in 11 states, including two women in Mahoning County.

According to the USDA, Fresh Foods Manufacturing Company, a Freedom, Pennsylvania establishment, is voluntarily recalling approximately 8,757 pounds of ready-to-eat salad products that may be contaminated with E. coli, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) announced Saturday. 

The ready-to-eat salad products were produced from April 9, 2018 to April 12, 2018 and have a shelf life of four days. The following products are subject to recall:

  • 11.5 oz., clear plastic containers of ready-to-eat “CAESAR SALAD WITH CHICKEN.”  The product label is marked “Great to Go” by Market District and has a sell by date of 04/13/18-04/16/18.  The case code is 81571201542.
  • 14.4 oz., clear plastic containers of ready-to-eat “CHICKEN AND BACON” salad.  The product label is marked “Great to Go” by Market District and has a sell by date of 04/13/18 – 04/16/18.  The case code is 81571201541.
  • 14.1 oz., clear plastic containers of ready-to-eat “CHEF SALAD WITH HAM, TURKEY, & HARD-BOILED EGG.”  The product label is marked “Great to Go” by Market District and has a sell by date of 04/13/18 – 04/16/18.  The case code is 81571201543.
  • 13.1 oz., clear plastic containers of ready-to-eat “CHEF SALAD WITH HAM, TURKEY, & HARD-BOILED EGG.” The product label is marked “Great to Go” by Market District and has a sell by date of 04/13/18 – 04/16/18.  The case code is 81571201545.     

The products subject to recall bear establishment number “P-40211” inside the USDA mark of inspection. These items were shipped to retail locations in Indiana, Ohio, Pennsylvania and West Virginia.         

The Centers for Disease Control is advising restaurants and stores not serve or sell any chopped romaine lettuce, including salads and salad mixes containing chopped romaine lettuce that is from the Yuma, Arizona growing region.

Twenty-six of 28 people who contracted E. coli told health officials that they ate romaine lettuce in the week before their illness started.

Most people reported eating a salad at a restaurant, and romaine lettuce was the only common ingredient identified among the salads eaten.

The restaurants reported using bagged, chopped romaine lettuce to make salads.

At this time, the CDC is saying ill people are not reporting that they ate whole heads or hearts of romaine.

Walmart is warning people on its website that chopped romaine lettuce referenced by the CDC may have been sold at some of its stores as well as Sam's Club.

By Saturday afternoon the Panera Bread online ordering app listed all of its salads as “out of stock”.

21 News called the Austintown Panera to order a Ceasar Salad and was told that they could make it with Radicchio lettuce and kale, but without romaine lettuce.

The employee at the Canfield Panera said they have a “romaine shortage” but could still make salads using kale, arugula, and spinach.

As of Saturday, there were no news releases on the Panera Bread corporate website mentioning the CDC concerns over chopped romaine lettuce.

21 News has reached out to Panera Bread for more information but has yet to receive a response.

The CDC on Friday advised consumers anywhere in the United States not to eat and throw away andy store-bought chopped romaine lettuce at home, including salads and salad mixes containing chopped romaine lettuce.

Before purchasing romaine lettuce at a grocery store or eating it at a restaurant, consumers should confirm with the store or restaurant that it is not chopped romaine lettuce from the Yuma, Arizona growing region.

If you can't confirm the source of the romaine lettuce, do not buy it or eat it, says the CDC.

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