Throw Out Your Romaine Lettuce Again, FDA Says

Illustration for article titled Throw Out Your Romaine Lettuce Again, FDA Says

Photo: Suvorova Alexandra (Shutterstock)

If you happen to have some romaine lettuce in your fridge right now, you’re going to want to check the label. That’s because total of 3,396 cartons of the greens have been voluntarily recalled by Tanimura & Antle, a produce company based in Salinas, California, over potential E. coli contamination. The questionable produce was sold at more than 1,000 Walmart locations and other stores nationwide. Here’s what to know about the recall.

The romaine in question

First of all, the possibly tainted lettuce is not (or at least shouldn’t be) currently sold in stores: the label lists the “packed on” date as being 10/15/2020 or 10/16/2020 (meaning it’d probably be brown by now and off the shelves). But it could still be in your crisper, so it’s worth taking a look.

The recalled romaine came in packages containing single heads of the long-leaf lettuce sold under the brand name “Tanimura & Antle” and have the UPC number 0-27918-20314-9. According to the Food and Drug Administration, no other products or pack dates are being recalled, and so far there have been no reported illnesses associated with the romaine.

The potentially contaminated lettuce was shipped to Arizona, Arkansas, California, Illinois, Indiana, Massachusetts, Michigan, Missouri, Nebraska, New Mexico, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, Washington, Wisconsin, and Puerto Rico, according to the FDA. It was sold at 1,000 Walmart locations, in addition to other retailers.

What about the E. coli?

There are many different strains of E. coli, each with their own special characteristics. The one potentially involved in the romaine recall is E. coli O157:H7, which can cause stomach cramping, diarrhea, vomiting, bloody stools, and sometimes a mild fever.

The good news is that most healthy adults can recover completely within a week. But the bad news is that some people (typically children and the elderly) can develop a form of kidney failure called Hemolytic Uremic Syndrome (HUS), which can lead to serious kidney damage, and in more serious cases, even death. If you’re experiencing any of these symptoms (regardless of whether or not you ate potentially contaminated lettuce) it’s a good idea to seek medical attention.

What to do with the recalled romaine

If you find that you are in possession of a bag of potentially contaminated romaine lettuce, you can return it to the store where you purchased it for a full refund—or just throw it away and get it out of your life. (Definitely don’t eat it.)

If you have any questions or concerns, you may call the Tanimura & Antle Consumer Hotline at 877-827-7388 Monday—Friday, 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM.

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