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Cooking Light has a story about how some of the nation’s top supermarkets are dealing with the nationwide E. coli outbreak that has been traced to romaine lettuce grown in the Yuma, Arizona, region, with health officials recommending that consumers avoid pretty much all romaine until more is known about the outbreak.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have said that 121 people in 25 states have been affected, with 52 hospitalizations and one fatality.

Here’s what Cooking Light has determined:

• “In response to the April 13 warning, Albertsons-owned stores removed chopped romaine lettuce products grown in Yuma and the company changed its supplier source for all romaine lettuce and products containing it, per a company spokesperson. In response to the expanded warning on April 20, stores also removed products with full-leaf romaine sourced from Yuma.”

• “‘We pulled romaine lettuce potentially originating from Yuma,’ Kristal Howard, head of corporate communications and media relations at The Kroger Co., told Cooking Light via email. ‘The products being sold in our stores are no longer from the Yuma region and we are communicating this message to our customers primarily through in-store signage.’ Kroger stores include King Soopers, Ralphs, City Market, Harris Teeter, Food 4 Less, Owen’s Market and other regional chains.”

• At Trader Joe’s “all the romaine carried in stores today—and since April 14, the day after the CDC’s first warning—is not being sourced from Yuma.” A spokesperson told the magazine, “While we are not aware of any confirmed illnesses related to our romaine, and no Trader Joe's products have been implicated in the matter, we took the precautionary step of promptly removing any product from sale upon notification from the CDC of the potential to be affected.”

• At Aldi, a spokesperson said, “We’ve confirmed that all ALDI products with romaine lettuce that are currently for sale are not from the Yuma region and are therefore not part of the current CDC advisement.”

• And, at Wegmans, a spokesperson said, “On Sunday, April 15, all of the chopped, whole and romaine hearts sold in our stores comes from growing areas other than Yuma, AZ. When the CDC/FDA issued the advisory about chopped romaine grown in Yuma on Friday, April 13, we removed any remaining product from our stores … We also have point-of-sale signs posted in our stores explaining that all our romaine is from growing areas other than Yuma.”
KC's View:
I’ve believed from the beginning that it is critical for retailers to be communicative about this issue - there should be signs in every food store explaining the problem and the store’s position. This isn’t just a marketing approach … I think it is a responsibility.