Great News: It's Now Safe to Eat Romaine Lettuce Again
If you've been avoiding romaine lettuce out of precaution over the last month, we have some good news for you: The Centers for Disease Control has called off it's nationwide ban on the leafy green, meaning it's safe for you to enjoy once more.
Nearly a month since it was instituted, the ban is being lifted by national health agencies as any romaine lettuce currently on shelves is extremely unlikely to have been grown in the Yuma, Arizona region. Since the last update where the death of one Californian was announced, the total count of those sickened by E. coli poisoning has risen to 172 people in 32 different states—but the CDC believes the worst of the outbreak is now behind us.
While more cases could be reported by local hospitals to the national agency within the coming weeks, the Food and Drug Administration notified the CDC that the last shipments of possibly tainted romaine left Arizona on April 16, with the harvest season has been over for quite some time. Romaine has a 21-day shelf life, so it should be off any and all shelves in all 50 states.
With what is hopefully its last update on the situation, the CDC reported that of the 172 individuals affected, a whopping 75 people were sent to the hospital for prolonged treatment—and 20 developed the seriously damaging form of kidney failure known as hemolytic uremic syndrome. Neither the FDA nor the CDC has been able to trace the exact source of the outbreak, which has led to a fair share of public criticism and a few lawsuits as well.
Now that romaine is safe to eat once more, home cooks can look forward to light, crisp, and refreshing summer salads. Here are 30 plus of our very best salads made with romaine to celebrate being able to eat this deliciously crunchy green once more.