Since March 13, 172 people in 32 states became ill after eating E. coli-contaminated romaine lettuce from Yuma, Arizona, according to the United States Center For Disease Control. 75 people were hospitalized, several of them with kidney failure, and one person died because of the outbreak, per CDC reports. After over two months of hearing one alarming report after another, though, we no longer need to avoid romaine.
Yesterday, the United States Food & Drug Administration tweeted an official update about the romaine-linked E. coli outbreak. The FDA's update said, "It is highly unlikely that product from the Yuma growing region is still in the supply chain. Consumers can be confident that romaine currently available for purchase is not part of the investigation." Up until now, the CDC has advised against consuming any romaine unless the lettuce is confirmed to not have been grown in Yuma. Since the origins of produce are often difficult for consumers to find out, many people were avoiding romaine altogether. As of yesterday, however, the romaine you pick up at the grocery store or order at restaurants should be safe to eat.
UPDATE on Romaine Lettuce: It is highly unlikely that product from the Yuma growing region is still in the supply chain. Consumers can be confident that romaine currently available for purchase is not part of the investigation. FDA continues to investigate https://t.co/PSjH1LztER pic.twitter.com/cHvhkmZmuB— U.S. FDA (@US_FDA) May 17, 2018
The FDA also explained on its website that the Arizona Department of Agriculture has confirmed that romaine lettuce from Yuma is no longer being produced or distributed. According to the FDA, "the last date of harvest was April 16, 2018. It is unlikely that any romaine lettuce from the Yuma growing region is still available in stores or restaurants due to its 21-day shelf life." Salad eaters can breath a sigh of relief.