In a very unusual move the Food and Drug Administration has removed Romaine lettuce from the food shelves.
Romaine lettuce is unsafe to eat in any form, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Tuesday in a food safety alert in response to a new outbreak of illnesses caused by a particularly dangerous type of E. coli bacteria.
The CDC told consumers to throw away any romaine lettuce they may already have purchased. Restaurants should not serve it, stores should not sell it, and people should not buy it, no matter where or when the lettuce was grown. It doesn’t matter if it is chopped, whole head or part of a mix.
The unusually broad warning, issued just two days before Americans sit down for their Thanksgiving dinners, reflects the uncertainties about the origin and extent of the bacterial contamination. The CDC is not claiming that all romaine contains the dangerous bacteria — something the millions of people who have eaten the popular lettuce recently should bear in mind — but investigators don’t know precisely where, when or how the contamination happened.