Don’t worry, your salad is OK: Florida’s romaine lettuce is safe to eat

Romaine lettuce
Romaine lettuce. Credit Wikimedia Commons.

Florida’s romaine lettuce is safe to eat, according to Florida Commissioner of Agriculture Adam Putnam.

Putnam announced Tuesday that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention say Florida-grown lettuce is free of a certain strain of E. coli, which has already made a number of people sick nationwide.

Authorities say the investigation into an E. coli outbreak linked to romaine lettuce shows that most of the contaminated lettuce comes from California. The CDC first told the public not to eat romaine lettuce on Nov. 20, and the FDA asked that all romaine lettuce be removed from stores.

“CDC’s recent Food Safety Alert advising consumer not to eat any romaine lettuce is unusually wide in scope. Florida is just beginning its harvesting. Florida product, therefore, is not associated with this outbreak,” Putnam wrote in a letter Wednesday, Nov. 21, addressed to the CDC and FDA. “Further, Florida production does not use practices that have been previously associated with environmental exposure to E. coli O157:H7.”

CD Davidson-Hiers
CD Davidson-Hiers is a 2017 summa cum laude graduate of Florida State University with a degree in Creative Writing and French. She is a member of Phi Beta Kappa and Golden Key honors societies, and has received multiple writing awards for fiction, nonfiction and poetry. Prior to joining the Florida Phoenix, CD worked at the Tallahassee Democrat and has bylines in Tallahassee Magazine. She is a native of Pensacola and currently lives in Tallahassee with her tabby cat, Faulkner.


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