FDA says romaine hearts recalled in 15 states over E. coli risk

Romaine hearts, the tall and crunchy center mass of romaine lettuce that is often sold in packages, is the subject of a new recall in 15 states. The recall is for a familiar reason: the risk of E. coli contamination, which can lead to severe illness in some people, though this recall is for a non-outbreak strain. As with other recent romaine recalls, there's some good news to go along with the advisory.

The recall was voluntarily announced by Dole Fresh Vegetables on November 21; it covers some cases of organic romaine hearts sold under the Dole and Wild Harvest brands. Consumers can find the product UPC codes and other identifying details on the FDA's website here.

The recalled romaine lettuce was harvested from October 23 to October 26, which is a good thing — Dole points out that the lettuce is now more than four weeks old, meaning that it's doubtful any of this lettuce actually remains on shelves in any sort of edible condition.

The company hasn't received any reports of illnesses resulting from this recall, which is due to pathogenic E. coli. Most healthy people recover from this bacterial infection in a week or so, but a small percentage of people in at-risk groups may experience a more severe illness.

The romaine hearts covered by this recall were only distributed in the following 15 states: AZ, HI, IA, IL, IN, KS, MD, MI, MN, MO, MS, MT, NC, ND and VA. Due to their age, none of these products should still be available in stores, but if you happen to have some in your fridge at home, be sure to throw it away and sanitize any surfaces it may have touched.