Romaine lettuce pulled off shelves at H-E-B after food poisoning outbreak

Simple Health

FILE – This Nov. 20, 2018 file photo shows Romaine Lettuce in Simi Valley, Calif. U.S. health officials are telling people to avoid romaine lettuce grown in Salinas, Calif., Friday, Nov. 22, 2019, as they investigate a food poisoning outbreak. They also say not to eat the leafy green if the label doesn’t say where it was grown. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill, File)

AUSTIN (KXAN) — Romaine lettuce has been pulled off the shelves at H-E-B stores in Austin following an outbreak of food poisoning.

Health officials have warned people to stay away from romaine lettuce grown in Salinas, California due to the health scare.

Shoppers in Austin have reported staff at H-E-B removing the food from shelves, while an error message reportedly appears at the checkout if anyone tries to purchase it.

On the supermarket’s website, romaine lettuce leaves are listed as no longer available.

In a statement, H-E-B said:

Committed to the quality of its products and the safety of its customers, H-E-B is voluntarily removing all products that contain romaine lettuce from its stores. This is in response to the CDC and the FDA issuing a notice to retailers and suppliers to withdraw romaine lettuce harvested from Salinas, California due to a potential contamination of E. coli. The CDC and FDA also are advising customers throughout the U.S. to avoid purchasing and eating romaine lettuce from Salinas, California.

The company added that no H-E-B customers have got sick from eating the lettuce at this point.

People have been told not to eat the substance if the label does not say where it was grown, while supermarkets and restaurants have been told they should not sell or serve the lettuce.

The warning applies to all types of romaine from the Salinas region, including whole heads, hearts and pre-cut salad mixes.

“We’re concerned this romaine could be in other products,” said Laura Gieraltowski, lead investigator of the outbreak at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Officials said their investigation led to farms in Salinas and that they are looking for the source of E. coli tied to the illnesses. Salinas is a major growing region for romaine from around April to this time of year, when growing shifts south to Yuma, Arizona.

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