SPOKANE, Wash. -- The E. Coli outbreak from romaine lettuce out of Arizona is still a problem.
A new count from the CDC showed 98 cases across 22 states, including Washington and Idaho.
The CDC reported 46 people were hospitalized. This has led people across the country to throw out any romaine lettuce that could have come from the Yuma, Arizona region at the recommendation of local and national agencies.
But, are restaurants and stores required to do this?
To learn, we turned to the Centers for Disease Control and the Spokane Regional Health District. As of right now, there is no recall issued on romaine lettuce. The CDC advised retailers to check with their suppliers to find the source of their romaine lettuce, and to not serve any that may have come from the Yuma, Arizona area.
However, this is not an actual requirement.
Spokane Regional Health District officials said there are no fines or penalties for restaurants that serve contaminated lettuce, even after warnings from the CDC and the USDA. Therefore, it is ultimately up to consumers to ask about the source of produce before they eat it.
Despite having no legal requirement, it should be noted that many restaurants and stores have pulled romaine lettuce from their supplies anyway until an “all clear” is given from health agencies. The CDC encouraged consumers to ask about this as they shop and eat.