Romaine Lettuce Is a Bad Choice Right Now, Health Agencies Warn

The American government has yet to issue a recall, but Canada’s agencies are sure it’s a problem

We know E. coli is gross, but please romaine calm.

If you’ve somehow missed the huge warnings so far, we beg of you: Do not eat romaine lettuce. There’s no official government recall in the United States — yet. But with two dead and many more sickened in the United States and Canada, major health organizations are advising you avoid the stuff.

This all began in December, when the Canadian Government warned consumers to avoid romaine due to potential contamination with E. coli. The government issued an official warning and recalled all bagged and fresh stores of romaine lettuce, but the bacteria still managed to sicken at least 58 people so far in the U.S. and Canada. Thirteen U.S. states have been affected, prompting a stern warning from Consumer Reports earlier this January.

The latest authority to speak out on the dangers romaine is posing to the public is the Sudbury and District Health Unit, which serves the most populous metropolitan area in Northern Ontario.

Rylan Yade, an environmental support officer with the Sudbury and District Health Unit, explained the agency’s request to CBCNews of Sudbury.

“They know that romaine lettuce is the source of the E. coli outbreak, but they’re not sure what the cause of contamination is,” Yade said of Canada’s progress in investigating the product. “You can’t taste, smell or see E. coli, which is what makes it so dangerous.”

Yade explained that with all vegetables you take home, you should take precautions to protect your family from disease. Rinsing produce with cool water is a good way to protect against any bacteria lingering on the surface — though not a surefire solution to product contamination.


The warnings have been clear and numerous enough that there’s just no reason to risk getting sick from lettuce at the moment. Friends don’t let friends eat romaine — at least not until this mess is settled. This food recall is turning out to be big enough to go down in history.