Romaine lettuce recall forcing local stores, restaurants to serve other options
A recent outbreak of E. coli in the United States has prompted the CDC to issue an investigation and have stores recall all of their lettuce.
There have been 32 reported illnesses in 11 states. Thirteen people have been hospitalized.
One person developed hemolytic uremic syndrome, but there have been no deaths reported.
Publix, Food City, and Aldi say they have taken romaine lettuce off their shelves.
Publix sent a statement saying, "Stores were notified to remove more than 90 items immediately and dispose them at the store level."
Some restaurants have followed suit with grocery stores and are serving other options.
Vegetarian restaurant Sluggos stopped serving lettuce altogether. Workers say they have plenty of other options on the menu such as spinach or kale.
One restaurant is still serving lettuce despite the CDC warnings. Southern Squeeze says their lettuce has not been cross-contaminated with any other product and their costumers trust their food.
Southern Squeeze's Jody Vasileff reached out the Channel 3 to clarify their lettuce use after the warnings from the CDC.
"Our produce suppliers and our direct employees alike have officially stopped shipping or serving any lettuce whatsoever, and any adjacent food and equipment have been dealt with accordingly. Safety, quality, and freshness are of course our #1 priorities as a business and we take any and all food warnings very seriously."
Symptoms of E. coli range from severe stomach cramps, diarrhea, and vomiting. Health officials say if you feel you've gotten sick from eating lettuce, you should immediately contact your doctor.
There are no antibiotics to counter the effects of E. coli.
The CDC is also urging consumers to wash and sanitize drawers where the lettuce was stored.