Romaine lettuce warning modified, but continue to err on the safe side

Now that the Centers for Disease Control has narrowed down the origin of contaminated romaine lettuce, experts urge consumers to be vigilant in determining the source of any lettuce they purchase.

“The CDC states that if the origin is not labeled then you should err on the safe side and not consume the lettuce,” said Virginia Tech consumer food safety specialist Renee Boyer.

Earlier this week, federal health officials announced that Romaine lettuce is safe to eat as long as it’s not from California’s Central Coast growing region.  Stores and distributors have been urged to label where the lettuce is from as a precaution.

“The issue is that the origin of most lettuce is not labeled,” said Boyer. “The most common situation where you would find it labeled would be if it is sold in bags.  Lettuces sold out of a bag can sometimes have the origin labeled on the tie that holds the lettuce together, but this is less common.”

“If in doubt, the consumer should be able to ask the produce manager where the produce originated.  Most chains will be diligent and not put lettuce on the shelf unless they know that it is not from this region,” said Boyer.

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