More than 6,000 restaurants and supermarkets in Massachusetts were advised this week to stop serving or stocking romaine lettuce until…
More than 6,000 restaurants and supermarkets in Massachusetts were advised this week to stop serving or stocking romaine lettuce until further notice, as a result of the recent E. coli outbreak associated with the greens, reported business groups.  Bob Luz, President and CEO of the Massachusetts Restaurant Association, said the word went out to approximately 5,500 member companies before the Tuesday dinner break.
“I do not think there will be much Caesar salad served on Thanksgiving,” Sade Luz.
“CDC, public health and government agencies in several states, Canada and the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) investigate a multistate outbreak of Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli O1
57: H7 (E. coli O157: H7) infections linked to romaine lettuce, “the federal agency said in a Tuesday advisory. “CDC advises American consumers not to eat any Romaine salad, and retailers and restaurants that do not earn or sell any until we learn more about the outbreak.”
The message was delivered in Mass., Sade Luz.
“Very early [Tuesday]] We issued a warning to all members who included the warning from CDC, and recommends that all restaurants and individuals remove all Romaine [from] their inventory.”
And it does not only affect salads .
“Romaine is not only used in Caesar salads,” said Luz. “It is used in mixed green salads, possibly at burgers. It is used in a variety of starters and salads.” And in the short term, these menu offers can at least look a little different when they come to your table, Luz said.
At the same time, the Massachusetts Food Association, which represents hundreds of statewide food stores, also informed its members of the federal counsel in an email Tuesday.
“Today, the FDA and CDC will announce consumer advice on ALL Romaine Salad from ALL growing regions due to the ongoing outbreak of E. Coli O157: H7,” announced the message from the Food Society. “They are asking retailers not to sell any Romaine salad and that consumers do not eat any Romaine salad until further notice.”
Brian Houghton, Senior Vice President of Government Affairs and Communications for Mass. Food Association, said the timing of the directive was “unfortunate” with Turkey the day round the corner.
“I had to throw a bag away,” said Houghton. “All information, we just step it out.”
He said he was unsure of the financial impact on member stores.
“Being a Thanksgiving Week, many people are [normally] consume this product,” he said. “It’s more important than it would be for a normal week.”
Among the 32 people infected with the “Shiga toxin producing E. coli eruption strain” are two Massachusetts residents, according to the latest CDC data. Additional information about the local cases was not available immediately.
Other cases have been reported in New Hampshire, Connecticut, California, Illinois, Maryland, Michigan, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Ohio and Wisconsin according to the CDC.
Luz stressed that the restaurants will remain open to companies in Massachusetts during their vacation.
“It’s a busy weekend,” he said. “On Friday there are many restaurants around shopping areas. It will be a busy weekend with people shopping, people come home for the holidays … Thanksgiving is of course a wonderful eating and drinking weekend and we suspect it’s not will change. “