Produce terminal

KCBS Radio/Tim Ryan

Dealing With the Romaine Recall

Unprecedented Nationwide Response

KCBS Radio Morning News
November 21, 2018 - 7:50 am

SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS Radio) --  Restaurants, supermarkets and produce wholesalers were scrambling Wednesday morning to comply with a nationwide recall of romaine lettuce.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued a warning on Tuesday, advising Americans not to eat any romaine lettuce. The warning came as an e. coli bacterial outbreak has sickened at least 32 people in eleven states. In Canada, another 18 people in two provinces have fallen ill from the same strain of e. coli.

In San Francisco, KCBS Radio reporter Tim Ryan found workers at the SF Market, the city's wholesale produce terminal, storing boxes of romaine away from other produce. Officials said they were awaiting clear directions on what to do with the suspect lettuce.

In an unusually strongly-worded advisory, the CDC not only told consumers to stop eating romaine and discard any they might have, but also to wash and sanitize drawers or shelves in refrigerators where it had been stored. 

Romaine lettuce is a major crop in California, with federal reports showing an annual crop value exceeding $880 million.