Holiday shoppers search for salad alternatives with romaine recalled again

EAST FALLS (WPVI) -- For the second Thanksgiving in a row, some romaine lettuce is on the recall list. Stores have pulled it from shelves and consumers are looking for substitutes.

A similar recall happened right at this time last year as well.

Right now, the CDC is telling people not to eat romaine lettuce that comes from the Salinas, California area because it may be linked to dozens of E. Coli infections.

Romaine lettuce once again is being blamed for an E. Coli outbreak, a serious and potentially deadly infection.

Forty people in 16 states have been infected, including three in Pennsylania and one in New Jersey.

Consumers are learning about it just as Thanksgiving dinner shopping gets underway.

"I heard about it I believe on channel six," says shopper Malaika Ombima from Northeast Philadelphia.

Sandy Brown, director for Brown's Super Stores, says right away they pulled the lettuce in question from all store shelves and prepared foods.

"The most important thing that ShopRite focuses on is high quality and safety of our customers," says Brown.

Some stores and eateries like Naf Naf Grill are erring on the safe side, pulling all romaine, no matter where it came from.

Tony May, a father of three, says his family will do the same.

"I usually try to find a substitute because a lot of times I feel like in the past they haven't fully identified the areas its been from," says May.

And there are plenty of substitutes. Many stores are stocking up on alternative greens.

"There's spring mix, spinach, large and baby and of course arugula and people can even use a coleslaw blend," she notes.

"I can eat other vegetables. I don't have to have romaine," said Ombima.

And if you have romaine at home, even if it is mixed in with other bagged lettuce, you should check to see where it came from.

If you are not sure, it's better to throw it out.
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