A recall of romaine lettuce distributed by Freshway Foods was announced Thursday by the Federal Food and Drug Administraion (FDA).
A statement on the FDA official website alerted food shoppers that Freshway Foods products containing romaine lettuce could be contaminated by E. coli O145 and are being recalled, following the report of multiple outbreaks in the mid-west.
Consumers should watch out for food products that contain romaine lettuce such as sandwiches or prepared salads that carry the Freshsafe or Imperial Sysco branding, but they don't need to worry about bulk packages of lettuce, said Freshway Foods in the statement.
The company stresses that the recall includes products containing romaine lettuce for food service outlets, wholesale and some in-store retail salad bars, and delis, but that no other products are affected.
Any shoppers that bought romaine from an in-store salad bar or deli at Kroger, Giant Eagle, Ingles Markets, and Marsh stores in the affected states, with a use date of May 12th or earlier, are advised to throw the product away, or return it for a refund, advised Freshway Foods.
"We are voluntarily issuing this recall because we want to do everything possible to minimize risk to public health," said the company.
The primary locations of concern for the recall Alabama, Connecticut, District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Missouri, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia, and Wisconsin.
Small outbreaks of E. coli O145 have been reported in the states of Michigan, New York, and Ohio. Multiple reports of E. coli O145 in each state have been verified with 10 in Michigan, 2 in New York, and 7 in OH, reported Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Side effects from E. coli O145 can include diarrhea with stomach pains while severe cases coupled with a weak immune system can cause kidney failure.
Shoppers are advised to avoid buying "grab and go" salads sold at locations such as Kroger, Giant Eagle, Ingles Markets, and Marsh stores.
Consumers can call Freshway Foods’ information desk in the US at 1-888-361-7106 (8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. Eastern Time, M-F).