The CDC has issued a strongly worded warning on romaine lettuce, in any form, whole or chopped:
“Consumers who have any type of romaine lettuce in their home should not eat it and should throw it away, even if some of it was eaten and no one has gotten sick,” the CDC said in the Food Safety Alert issued shortly before 3 p.m.
According to a post on the WSJ’s website, the E. Coli outbreak in romaine has apparently been narrowed down to a region in California. The FDA may be publishing this information as early as today, but since lettuce packaging doesn’t currently indicate where or when it was picked, that may not help restaurants and grocers much.
A new labeling standard may be announced soon that would cover romaine and possibly other types of green leafy vegetables, like spinach.
I think the growers have been resisting origin labeling as too expensive, but the FDA played hardball ordering all romaine off shelves nationwide just ahead of Thanksgiving, and it appears the industry decided the cost was better than no sales at all.
IBM has been promoting block chain technology for tracking perishables, expect them to make a big push with large scale producers.