Listeria Lettuce Recall Spreads Farther, Sparks More Fear

lettuce listeriaAre you as spooked as we are by this whole listeria outbreak shebang? Considering the fact that the one involving cantaloupe has been called one of the worst food-borne illness epidemics since the 1970s and has killed up to 16 people plus sickened at least 72 more across 18 states, you can't blame us, can you?

Sure, it was scary when it was just the melon. But man did things get really real, very fast, when I heard about possible contamination spreading to bags of chopped romaine lettuce. I'm sure I'm not the only one who eats lettuce every day, right? Even worse, there's a recall out for 2-pound bags where I live (in Connecticut), which is among the 19 states the recall has now been extended to.

Like the cantaloupe news, the lettuce situation looks like it may be more widespread than we originally thought. See what you should look out for and if your state is affected by the recall after the jump:

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So first, you should know that the questionable lettuce is being flagged in the following states: Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Illinois Kentucky, Maryland, Minnesota, Missouri, Nevada, New York, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, and Vermont.

The lettuce bags come from True Leaf Farms in Salinas, California, and have a "use by date" of 9/29/11 on them. And to get even more specific, be uber-cautious and check that the bag and box code is B256-46438-8.

If you do find the recalled lettuce in your fridge, don't eat it. The FDA says instead, you should throw it out or contact Church Brothers about picking it up.

The good news is that no illnesses -- or deaths -- have been reported from the contaminated lettuce just yet, and it isn't believed to be linked to the cantaloupe outbreak. But being too safe is never a bad thing. So just in case I'll stick to buying fresh lettuce for a while, instead of bagged. Since listeria poisoning can be fatal, the smartest thing for us to do now is simply stay informed and eat wisely.

Have you changed your eating habits since the news of the listeria outbreaks?

 

Image via Muffet/Flickr

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