CDC Warnings on Romaine Lettuce and Leafy Greens

Romaine and other leafy greens have had problems with pathogens in 2017 and 2018, with significant morbidity and one death. In the last outbreak, the CDC recommended the cessation of consumption of romaine lettuce, regardless of source. In the latest outbreak, there were 52 reported cases in 15 states with 19 hospitalizations and no deaths, with no specific producer identified.

Therefore, there was no specific recall, although there was a warning from the CDC that "retailers and restaurants should not serve any romaine lettuce." This was later amended to the central coastal growing region of California, with the caveat that if the growing location or the source of the romaine is unknown, don't consume it.

The industry response has been positive in that consumers will most likely be seeing the origins of their leafy greens potentially by regions and by states versus by country.