New Haven, Conn. (WTNH) — The E. coli outbreak linked to romaine lettuce from Salinas, California has grocery stores making big changes here in Connecticut.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 67 people from 19 states have fallen ill from the recent outbreak.
Dave Cretella, the Produce Manager at T&J Supermarket in East Haven says the outbreak limits his ability to provide a wide range of romaine to customers. Cretella explains, “You have to fill in [the absence] with multiple rows of different kinds of salads that are available.”
But, T&J supermarket isn’t taking any chances. They have pulled nearly 100 bags of lettuce from Salinas California.
Cretella said, “Right now the romaine that we have out here right now is from Santa Clara the Romaine Hearts and anything else the bags salads that are on the shelf do not contain Romaine.”
Cretella added, “On each Romaine package has a harvest date and where it was harvested out of. You just want to make sure when you look on that package it says it was harvested out of Santa Clara or Yuma Arizona.”
If the label either says “grown in Salinas” or does not say where it was grown, the CDC says throw it out.
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Cretella adding that, “If you have anything in your refrigerator that contains Romaine in it and it’s from Salinas, you definitely want to return it or you want to toss it out.”
Elm City Market in New Haven, too, has removed all romaine lettuce from their produce section.
Hannah Pimenta with the Elm City Market told NEWS8, “Immediately we just jumped into action. We came to the floor and said anything with romaine check it out we don’t care where it’s from, pull it.”
Cross-contamination is also a concern. Pimenta said, “If it was mixed with other things in your refrigerator, if you have a crisping bin, I would throw out anything else it was touching just to be on the safe side.”
Some shoppers haven’t pick up Romaine since last year’s E. Coli scare.
Debra Palmer, one produce shopper saying, “I would just rather not have it.”
John Caputo, another shopper, adding, “It just makes you think because you hear about so many things, what not to eat you, don’t know what to do no more. So it is scary.”