Consumers advised to throw out romaine lettuce due to e-Coli

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Consumers advised to throw out romaine lettuce due to e-Coli. John Rawlins reports during Action News at 5 p.m. on November 21, 2018.

Experts are still trying to pinpoint where the e-Coli infected lettuce came from and where it is now.

A nutritionist tells Action News that throwing the lettuce out isn't the only thing you need to do.

Consumers are being told not to eat any romaine lettuce and to throw out any they have on hand. Toss it all out.

Why such a widespread alert?

Registered Dietitian Katie Cavuto said, "First and foremost with any food safety issue I think really it is safety first. And what makes this particular alert a little bit different is the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has not been able to identify the source of the outbreak."

Cavuto showed us step two of the CDC alert, go into the fridge and in this case pull the crisper drawer where there had been romaine.Throw out the romaine and any other food that might have been in contact with the romaine.

To prevent possible future cross contamination the advisory is use at least soap and water.

"You are simply to clean your crisper with soap and water and then the CDC is saying it is optional to use something like bleach as a disinfectant, and if you want to avoid harsh chemicals us could use a substitute like distilled white vinegar," said Cavuto.

Romaine is popular in salads but it is not irreplaceable.

"There are a lot of nutritious and delicious options we could use butter lettuce which often grown hydroponically. We could use something very similar to romaine, it is a red or green leaf lettuce. It has a similar crunch. If we are interested in using a darker green something like kale, spinach or Arugula can be used," added Cavuto.

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