Two national grocery store chains with a large presence in Michigan said this week they now have romaine lettuce this is safe to eat despite a multi-state E. coli outbreak that's contaminated romaine lettuce and related products.
Spokespeople for the Meijer and Kroger grocery store chains said Monday afternoon the businesses won't offer romaine lettuce from the Yuma, Ariz. region until federal officials say it's safe to eat. But the chains have obtained romaine lettuce from other growing regions in the country.
A report Friday from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said chopped romaine lettuce from the Yuma growing region is suspected in the E. coli outbreak that has hospitalized 22 people, the Arizona Republic reported.
Some 53 cases have been reported in 16 states, including two in Michigan, the CDC reported on its website. While no one has died, three people have developed a type of kidney failure called hemolytic uremic syndrome, the CDC said in a statement.
No grower, supplier, distributor or brand has been identified as the outbreak's source, the CDC said.
State officials will follow the advice of the CDC and U.S. Food and Drug Administration while the federal agencies conduct their foodborne illness investigations.
If a Michigan business owner or consumer has questions about romaine lettuce, it's best to play it safe and stay away from it, said Jennifer Holton, a Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development spokesperson.
“We always say, 'When it doubt, throw it out,'" Holton said.
Frank Guglielmi, a Meijer spokesperson, said the chain removed by April 14 all romaine lettuce and related products that came from the Yuma region. Guglielmi said Meijer now only offers romaine from other growing regions.
“We were kind of way in front of this in terms of pulling that product," Guglielmi said.
All romaine lettuce purchased at Kroger has been deemed safe because it comes from central California, said Rachel Hurst, a company spokesperson.
Michigan State University pulled all romaine lettuce from its dining halls earlier this month.
Kat Cooper, an MSU spokesperson said romaine lettuce at all residence halls, Sparty's on-campus convenience stores and 1855 Place was removed by April 14. Cooper said all facilities won't begin offering it until it is deemed safe to eat by federal officials.
“Out of an abundance of caution we stopped serving romaine entirely until the recall is lifted," Cooper said.
Horrocks Farm Market in Delta Township carries safe romaine lettuce because it's purchased from California growers, said Dan Dunn, the market's general manager, in an email to the State Journal.
Check back for updates.
Kaila White of the Arizona Republic contributed to this report. Eric Lacy is a reporter for the Lansing State Journal. Contact him at 517-377-1206 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @EricLacy.