So people are getting E.coli from eating lettuce. This is not the first time. It’s very upsetting to many of us, and especially someone who can barely eat anything anymore without getting sick. In fact, it’s my go-to joke when people realize how limited my diet has become and ask me what I eat these days. “Pretty much just lettuce,” I always quip. I do eat a lot of salad and haven’t checked every leaf to make sure it’s not romaine, but ever since the CDC issued their warning about not eating romaine, I’ve done my best to avoid it. And with more and more people across the country getting sick, I think restaurants and grocery stores need to take this recall seriously.
The other day I checked my bagged salad and saw it had romaine listed. I went to my favorite grocery store to return it. They usually have the best customer service, but this woman obviously missed that training. When I told her I was returning it because it had romaine, she acted annoyed and told me they hadn’t had any problems with their lettuce. I certainly didn’t want to end up being the first person in my state who does get sick from eating this lettuce! I nicely told her the recall was being expanded to all romaine which was the reason for my concern. She could have told me that the store had checked and none of the romaine was from Arizona, or offered to find out. And all grocery stores should put up signs in the produce section to indicate where their lettuce comes from, which would be a big help. Instead, she practically rolled her eyes at me and sighed as she handed me a gift card as a refund. I thanked her sweetly and bit my tongue.
Why is this happening, anyway? Our food supply should not be this vulnerable. Lettuce just seems so innocuous. This is almost as disconcerting as when cheese was being recalled for salmonella. Lettuce and cheese – 2/3 of my most-eaten foods. If avocados are ever recalled – and please don’t tell me they are – I will crawl into a corner and give up.
For now, with such a large and serious recall, maybe grocery stores should advise their workers of the situation if they don’t already know about it, and what to tell concerned customers. Which I’d imagine doesn’t include sighing and eye rolls.
Copyright Nancy Machlis Rechtman, all rights reserved