If you’ve been craving romaine lettuce for months, I have good news and bad news for you.
Note: This is a Lifehacker US story. Head to Lifehacker Australia for AU-relevant stories.
Ever since the holidays we were supposed to be checking labels on lettuce and avoiding anything from the Salinas Valley growing region of California. Romaine from that area was associated with E. coli (in particular, a strain of the infamous O157:H7),which can cause bloody diarrhoea, severe stomach cramps, and vomiting. A total of 167 people were infected, across 27 states, with 15 developing kidney failure but, fortunately, no deaths.
To be fair, lettuce isn’t always risky, but it is prone to occasional widespread contamination. Lettuce all over the country may come from just one or two growing regions, depending on season, which means outbreaks can occur across the country all at once. And unlike many other foods, we don’t cook lettuce, leaving the contaminating bacteria alive and well to wreak havoc on our digestive systems.
So, go ahead and enjoy those romaine-based salads, if you really want to.