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romaine lettuce

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention traced an ongoing E. coli outbreak to the Central Coastal region of California. If you're sure your lettuce was grown elsewhere, you can eat it. Andrew Caballero-Reynolds/AFP/Getty Images hide caption

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Andrew Caballero-Reynolds/AFP/Getty Images

Investigators who are trying to track down the source of E. coli in romaine lettuce have seen this before. They're tracking the exact strain of bacteria that caused a small outbreak a year ago. Justin Sullivan/Getty Images hide caption

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Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Investigators Tracking Latest Romaine Lettuce Outbreak Are Feeling Some Deja Vu

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Romaine lettuce is displayed on a shelf at a supermarket in California in April, during an E. coli outbreak traced to contaminated lettuce. The CDC says a new outbreak has made lettuce dangerous to eat, just in time for America's most foodcentric holiday. Justin Sullivan/Getty Images hide caption

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Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

The Food and Drug Administration quickly identified romaine lettuce as the source of a months-long outbreak, but the foodborne illness investigation has been one of the agency's most complicated in years. Westend61/Getty Images hide caption

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Westend61/Getty Images

What Sparked An E. Coli Outbreak In Lettuce? Scientists Trace A Surprising Source

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Rinsing your produce is a good idea, but it won't give you 100 percent protection from bacteria that cause foodborne illness unless you cook it thoroughly. Because we eat lettuce raw, a lot of people got sick in a recent outbreak. StockFood/Getty Images/Foodcollection hide caption

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StockFood/Getty Images/Foodcollection

A man shops for vegetables near romaine lettuce for sale at a supermarket in California, where the first death from the E. coli outbreak was reported. Frederic J. Brown/AFP/Getty Images hide caption

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Frederic J. Brown/AFP/Getty Images

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says a recent E. coli outbreak is linked to romaine lettuce grown in Yuma, Ariz. At least 53 people have reported illnesses, 31 have been hospitalized. David Goldman/AP hide caption

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David Goldman/AP