© 2023 WFSU Public Media
WFSU News · Tallahassee · Panama City · Thomasville
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations

Romaine Is Back on the Menu

The Food and Drug Administration is lifting its alert on Romaine lettuce grown outside of California.

The lift comes after an investigation showed a national E. coli outbreak in Romaine originating in California but not in any other states. The FDA reached an agreement with industry partners to put an additional label on Romaine lettuce. This label will show the harvesting location and date of the vegetable. While law already requires produce to have distributor or producer information, it can sometimes be difficult for consumers to find.

“Produce often goes through multiple distribution chains and it passes through many different points in which case it might be hard for a consumer to identify where it might have come from which is why when the FDA and CDC linked this outbreak to E. Coli to romaine lettuce we put out a blanket warning letting people know they shouldn’t eat romaine lettuce until we know more," says FDA Spokesperson Peter Cassell. He says the FDA believes the outbreak is confined to 16 counties in California. Now that romaine is back on the market, Tallahassee restaurants are beginning to serve it. 

“Romaine is like a go to lettuce. It’s easy to get. Cost is good. But I would say it’s important only because we’re in the habit of using it," says Senior Manager of Soul Vegetarian Restaurant, Amatsiah Rahm.