Romaine Lettuce Recall 2010 incites calls for stronger regulation

Red Romaine lettuce

Red and green romaine lettuce is a favorite in salads. Image from Flickr.

Freshway Foods, based in Ohio, has instituted a romaine lettuce recall 2010. In all, 19 cases of E Coli have been confirmed in connection to the romaine lettuce recall. If you have possibly been sickened by the Freshway Foods lettuce recall, you may need money now to go see a doctor – though most cases are not severe.

Romaine lettuce recall 2010 affects shredded romaine

The romaine lettuce recall 2010 announced yesterday evening includes only shredded romaine lettuce. Any Freshway Foods shredded romaine with a “use by” date after May 12 should be thrown out. Additionally, grab-and-go salads from in-store salad bars at Kroger, Giant Eagle, Ingles Markets and Marsh stores should not be eaten. Other suppliers of romaine lettuce and other fresh greens are not included in the lettuce recall. It appears the recalled lettuce was grown in Arizona and shipped to wholesalers across the country.

Calls for stronger food safety after romaine lettuce recall 2010

The romaine lettuce recall 2010 has once again raised calls for stronger food-safety regulation. Last year, the House passed a bill that gave the FDA stronger food-regulation powers, but the Senate has yet to vote on the bill. E. Coli infections are usually found in undercooked meat, but because lettuce and other greens are not usually cooked, there is no way for the infection to be killed. Thorough washing and proper storage help minimize the risk.

Why stronger regulations may hurt, even with lettuce recall

The lettuce recall, like spinach and fresh greens recalls before it, has raised questions of food safety. Though many often call for “stronger regulation” to “protect food safety” after lettuce recalls, there is an argument against this stronger regulation. This lettuce recall originated with a large grower who grows hundreds of thousands of acres of lettuce and ships it across the country. Stronger regulation on food tends to favor mega-food companies who can afford the new inspections, equipment or processes required. Small growers, who are not usually at fault for issues like the lettuce recall, are usually pushed out of business. Stronger across-the-board regulation, unless written carefully, tends to make the problem worse by pushing out small growers.

What to do about the romaine lettuce recall 2010

If you think the lettuce recall affects you, then contact your local health department. Do not eat the products implicated in the lettuce recall. Thoroughly wash and properly store all greens. The good news is that the lettuce recall affects a relatively small percentage of the lettuce available in the United States – and no other greens or growers have been shown to be unsafe in this lettuce recall. If you are concerned about possibly eating romaine lettuce recall 2010 lettuce, give mescalun greens a try — or iceburg, or spinach, or raddicio or even rocket lettuce.


The Associated Press

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