Vegetable Of The Week: Romaine. Good for you, if you don’t mind kidney damage!

Efficient Romaine lettuce field and Open Air bathroom.

Your government and every crackpot, meddling Food Police organization wants to remind you: Eat your veggies!

………And our vegetable of the week is……Romaine!

Yum.  There’s just nothing like a nice Romaine salad with Cold Pressed olive oil, fresh tomatoes, Greek olives,  aged balsamic vinegar, a little feta, a little E. coli….

I love Romaine, don’t you? I especially love Romaine that can kill me. I know that no matter what, I will continue to eat my Romaine and do my part for my government’s Cull The Population Program.

I’m personally SO excited! I live in one of the states that has a Romaine recall. If you live in 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, or Wisconsin you should be excited too!

May 6, 2010 — Romaine lettuce sold in 23 states and the District of Columbia may be contaminated with dangerous E. coli O145 bacteria and has been recalled.

So far, 19 cases of E. coli O145 illness have been reported in Michigan, Ohio, and New York. Twelve people have been hospitalized, including three with life-threatening hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS) caused by the bacterium.

Several lines of evidence — including detection of bacteria in an unopened package of Freshway Foods shredded Romaine lettuce — point to Freshway Foods wholesale Romaine lettuce products.

Freshway. Sounds good for me. Fresh=Good.  Yum.

Freshway Foods has recalled all products containing Romaine lettuce with a use-by date of May 12 or earlier. These products were sold wholesale to restaurants and supermarkets under the Freshway or Imperial Sysco brands.

The recall does not include bagged or prepackaged Romaine or lettuce mixes containing Romaine. However, the lettuce may be found in supermarket salad bars and delis.

Of coursebagged or prepackaged Romaine is not covered. Bagged Romaine was last year’s recall. We’ve improved since then. Instead of Salmonella, you can now enjoy E. coli. It kills so much better. But remember, that’s only if the Romaine is in a “Mix”. If you want E. coli from a mix you will have to get it from one of the other greens in the bag. Got it?

Freshway Foods is advising consumers not to eat “grab and go” salads sold in store salad bars and delis at Kroger, Giant Eagle, Ingles Markets, and Marsh stores.

Eat me! Trust me, I'm worth having dead kidneys.

Symptoms of infection with harmful E. coli may range from none to mild diarrhea to severe complications. The acute symptoms include severe abdominal cramps and diarrhea, which may be bloody. Patients may progress to serious complications, such as kidney damage. The FDA and the CDC encourage anyone with these symptoms to contact his or her health care provider immediately.

How cool! I mean who wouldn’t want kidney damage? Do you not just LOVE our wonderful FDA? They are soooooo good at finding problems AFTER they occur. That Prevenative stuff is soooooooo 20th Century.

I also know you will be pleased as punch to know that the firm but very kind FDA “Supports” this voluntary recall. They are such sports that way! I mean it’s not like it’s Melamine or something. Just a lttle remant of fecal matter. You might want to return to buying the packaged Romaine. That recall was soooooooo last year.

Eat up!


43 Responses

  1. So tell me, O Wise Uppity One

    WHAT WAS the “prepackaged” Romaine BEFORE it was “prepackaged”

    Is Big Food SOOOOO SMART, they can actually grow it in the bags now?

  2. It just keeps getting better and better! I bought a romaine lettuce yesterday – USA grown. I bypassed the Peruvian iceberg, cause I wanted to buy either Canadian or U.S, Guess I had better rethink my buying patterns.
    BTW, wasn’t it spinach last time, with the salmonela?

  3. HT – I bought the prepackaged stuff for my old lady friend the other day too. Gotta check the grower tonight. YOU CAN BET that unless Uppity can convince me that the stuff was grown inside the plastic bag, it’s going back.

  4. I was reading about this earlier- something in the article I was reading about Yuma, AZ. The plot thickens?
    Thank God the asparagus is coming up now and the lettuce in my garden is not far behind.

    I am with FF- where did the “prepackaged” stuff come from? Or do they irradiate that and we are supposed to believe it is safe? Oh wait- I know! That romaine was grown and processed someplace else right? Right??

    Sysco for those who don’t know is a MAJOR food service (restaurant, colleges, hospitals, etc) supplier. Yummy. I have some horror stories I could tell about them- but let’s just say I will not work or eat at restaurants that use Sysco (yes, I call ahead and ask it’s that bad)

    But back to FF’s comment- what does this mean then?

    “Several lines of evidence — including detection of bacteria in an unopened package of Freshway Foods shredded Romaine lettuce — point to Freshway Foods wholesale Romaine lettuce products.”

    I DO SEE the word “package” in there do I not? Also, Romaine, bacteria, Freshway. Hmm- what is the new and improved definition of “packaged”- I guess I am out of the loop.

    Wholesale- in other words the middle man? Like the grocery store? Or the campus food service vendor? Or the hospital kitchen facility? So the folks who buy bulk and serve it to captive audiences? YUMMY!

    I have to go buy more canning jars. This is getting ridiculous! Though I checked with my doc- and she noticed as well that folks who live on farms rarely get any of this stuff. (real farms- not agribusiness farms)

  5. Damn- I was ranting- Sorry! Didn’t mean to be a thread hog

  6. PMMom, you are never a thread hog, and your commentary is always interesting. Doesn’t surprise me that farming folks who grow their own food rarely have problems. They aren’t putting hormones into their livestock or feeding them from the carcases of other animals, or spraying deadly chemicals on their produce.

  7. “including detection of bacteria in an unopened package”

    Gee – I do this a lot – when I accidentally lose something in the back of the fridge for six weeks.

    But I wonder how THEY do it THROUGH the package when it is Just. So. Fresh.!

  8. Here is the article with the reference to the Yuma AZ farm

    Look at the double speak here

    “FDA spokesman Ira Allen would not confirm that the source was in Arizona, but said the investigation has focused on a farm.

    “Experience tells us that the point of contamination is likely at the farm level, which can then be spread during the entire processing chain,” Allen said.
    Freshway Foods said it was recalling romaine lettuce sold under the Freshway and Imperial Sysco brands. No contamination was found at the company’s processing plant, according to the FDA.

    The New York state Public Health Laboratory discovered the contamination in a bag of Freshway Foods shredded romaine lettuce on Wednesday. Local authorities had been investigating an outbreak for several weeks. The bag of lettuce came from a processing facility that was also linked to the illnesses, the FDA said. The agency would not disclose the name of that facility.”

    First it’s the farm, not the Safeway facility. Then it IS a processing facility- but they are not disclosing the name.

    Trust me – if it’s Sysco- I would NOT go near it with a ten foot pole!

    I quit buying processed salad items a LONG time ago- it is just one more person handling my food, all lettuce deteriorates the second you cut it- so how is it still looking so good in those bags? And surely I can take the 10 seconds and cut up my own lettuce? Oh and save all that money too? Cut and bagged lettuce is always at least twice the cost of a whole fresh head. They charge too much as it is- why give them any more?
    They can keep it and the nasty bacteria too!

  9. The New York state Public Health Laboratory discovered the contamination in a bag of Freshway Foods shredded romaine lettuce on Wednesday

    Wait a minute. didn’t they say that the packaged romaine wasn’t affected?

  10. EXACTLY Uppity! What the hell? Has the definition of packaged changed? I mean, I know dictionaries are so 19th and 20th century and all- and spelling words out completely is so passe as well- but I hadn’t realized that packaged no longer means what we thought it meant.

  11. Ok I see what they are saying. They are saying if the romaine is in bagged or prepackaged MIXES, it’s ok. You will just have to get your E. coli from one of the other greens in the bag. lol.

  12. Yup- your article and mine both reference bagged- so bagged is not packaged?

  13. it references bagged or packaged MIXES.

  14. For example, a MIX of romaine and field greens is not affected. Although how the hell do they know this?

  15. LMAO- Fox is just now talking about all the stuff FF had in her post on the Houston smoky suitcase- better late than never?

  16. Doublespeak- it is all doublespeak. First is says ALL products with Romaine and use by dates of 5/12, then in the next paragraph contradicts what it said- WTF?
    I am not planning on eating any Romaine that isn’t local- better safe than sorry.

  17. OT, but all we need to know. From the WSJ Sidebar link

    “WASHINGTON—The White House said Friday that Elena Kagan’s membership on an advisory panel for the securities firm Goldman Sachs Group Inc. wouldn’t disqualify her for a position on the Supreme Court.”

  18. Another OT (LOL)

    2.6 north of Charleston WV, less than a mile deep. Hope it was not another Mine Accident.

  19. also,mcnorman, if you show up – I have been searching those google Earth images and it’s creepy as hell. MANY are near big US military installations, and several I found were in South Carolina near the Naval Weapons Stations and the Chemical Warfare depots there too.

    One in RI is near the Naval War College and one on Staten Island is near Ft. Harrison.

    Has anyone figured them out? Zoom in too close and they vanish.

    There is one in Lake City FL too, as you mentioned.

    I tell ya, I am in the wrong business. But now worried about a knock on my door! LOL

  20. Also, shallow 2.7 just east of BAKERSFIELD.

    Ok, now that I have hogged the board, I gotta go cook! LOL


  21. Hopefully my state is not affected, but no kidding I was eating a salad made with romaine and lecturing the boys here about the need to eat their veggies when the warning came on the news. The last time I tried to get the boys to eat veggies it was ecoli spinach and before that when I suggested perhaps they could try drinking more juice, it was ecoli apple juice. Needless to say, I no longer have any credibility in this house.

    You know what the safest thing to eat is? Deep fried food. No joke, the oil gets hot enough to kill most anything. That’s what they tell you when you’re visiting a foreign country, stay away from the salads and make sure what you’re eating is fried in oil. I guess we better add the US to our list.

  22. FF, I have a deep fat fryer. Guess I’ll be using it a lot more. But one can’t deep fry lettuce, spinach, or my favorite, Swiss Chard. Please, tell me Swiss Chard, Carrots , asparagus and potatoes are still okay. If not, my goose is cooked.

  23. Whoops, I meant that last one in response to yttik. Apologies.

  24. Reminds me of the Ellen Degeneres routine about news teasers:
    “It could be the most deadly thing you’re eating for dinner….film at 11”
    “Is it peas??”
    If you want to hear Ellen deliver it much funnier than reading my version it’s at about 6:50 on this video

  25. OMG imust! Thanks for posting that. She is SO funny.

    MANY years ago, Ellen ‘frequented” the same club I did. She was not yet famous, but was building a name in the Atlanta area. The first time I met her, I was really astonished how short she seemed! She was exceedingly nice and really was fun to be around.

    Great post! Thanks!

  26. Check your email FF.

  27. Awfully quiet around here tonight.

    guess everyone had romaine with dinner

    night all!

  28. No, it was pizza night tonight.

  29. Yep! Pizza and Angeles baseball! (no anchovies or romaine).
    P.S. We’re winning!

  30. Oh goody, goody! We’ve been busy running around the past couple of days so we ate out last night and tonight. Last night I had……a salad which had romaine in it. Tonight I had a chicken wrap with some kind of lettuce in it, OY!

  31. Oh gawd-not again! I luvs me some Romaine and Caesar salads!

    I see my home state of Louisiana is not covered by this, but…they can add the oil (groan) and running!!

  32. OT
    I can not link. Newsmax has an article entitiled
    The Mancession that wasn’t. Congress will publish on Monday a study of how the recession impacted women.



  33. At suburban guerilla website an article about the Gulf of Mexico being a disposal site for military ordinance. Nothing like drilling for oil in a mine field. Also have disposal sites in the off shore of Atlantic and the Pacific oceans.



  34. Gulf of Mexico being a disposal site for military ordinance. Nothing like drilling for oil in a mine field.

    Given the abject stupidity of the yahoos we have running our country, this seems like their idea of a good idea.

  35. Yeah Fredster, your poor state had Katrina and now the oil spill of the century. THe least they could do is send you good Romaine.

  36. Ellen is REALLY funny as a standup comediene. I wish she did more of it.

  37. You know what the safest thing to eat is? Deep fried food. No joke, the oil gets hot enough to kill most anything.

    OMG I don’t think you even know when you are being hysterically funny.


    here is the link for Suburban Guerrilla about the military ordinance in the Gulf of Mexico.



  39. Uppity Woman, on May 8, 2010 at 4:49 AM Said:

    Yeah Fredster, your poor state had Katrina and now the oil spill of the century

    Well a’hm still in the greaaaat state of Alabama (sounding like Foghorn Leghorn here) so no Romaine for me.

    The momster is going to the hosp. Tuesday for an arteriogram on the left left to see what they can do to help circulation there. The rt. one – the one with the ankle fx is healing great but there are some places on the left that aren’t healing well. Oh well, in for a penny in for a pound. I should have them go ahead while Medicare will still decide to pay for it; pretty soon they’ll say she’s just too old for surgery and why bother. (snark)

  40. Sorry I got your state wrong Fredster. And best wishes for Mom. Tis a tough generation so I’m sure she will do fine and won’t be taking any crap from doctors who dare to try to tell her she’s too old.

  41. Uppity @3:21: No you didn’t get it wrong, LA is my home state and where we want to be, although you have to wonder how much shit they can handle being tossed at them.

    Tis a tough generation

    Boy do you have that right! She had the surgery to put the screws and plate in, then to take them out and then have the arteriogram and then fem-pop bypass on the rt leg. If anyone can make it through all of this it will be her.

    (laughing)…when they had to do the heart valve replacement when she just made 65 and covered for medicare, they started the open heart procedure and the doc told her later they broke the saw cutting into her chest. He said “you’re a tough old bird Margaret”. She said “you’re damned right!”. 😆

  42. Well Fred, if you want Romaine you will have to visit Louisiana then.

    Imust: Heh.

    Mary, Bill says the town isn’t big enough for an important studly dude like himself.

  43. Couple of things:

    First, the FDA has no statutory authority to order a food recall. See 21 CFR 7 for the regulation related to product recall. It is voluntary by law with a few exception. In a case such as this, FDA can issue press and work with the firm to ensure that their own press release and the actual recall is effective. If that is not acceptable to you, please contact your congressional rep. Federal agencies can only act based on the authority given them by Congress.

    As for FDA not preventing foodborne outbreaks, you might check with the leafy green vegetable growers and the tomato growers and see what research and monitoring has been occurring for several years in order to understand and find ways to prevent these outbreaks. Doing so in not as easy as the armchair quarterbacks think.

    FDA regulates 25% of the nation’s GDP with a very limited number of field investigators and scientists to cover both domestic and imported foods and medical products. As these products and their distribution systems get more complex, the risk to the public will increase. No government agency can guarantee your safety 100% of the time. It’s not reasonable to expect that given that problems change.

    You might also consider that thesetypes of outbreaks have previously occurred and not been recognized. Perhaps CDC, FDA, and USDA are doing a better job of recognizing and reacting to emerging outbreak. The succcess here might be that further distribution was stopped.

    Just a few ideas.

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