Romaine lettuce found in SWFL stores after CDC warning

Reporter: Morgan Rynor
Published: Updated:
Photo: WINK News

Despite an urgent warning from the Centers for Disease Control to throw out all romaine lettuce, some stores in Southwest Florida are still selling it.

MORE: CDC Warning: Do not eat any romaine lettuce

The CDC says romaine lettuce has sickened dozens with E.coli, but they don’t know where the lettuce is coming from and have yet to issue an actual recall.

Some stores still had romaine lettuce products on their shelves, including ready made salads in a Cape Coral Walmart.

As shoppers snag their last minute grocery items, shoppers like Larry Kretz are staying away from all lettuce products.

“I always thought it was healthier to stay away from lettuce anyway,” he said, laughing.

But it was no laughing matter for a Cape Coral mom, Kim Clower, who loaded up her cart at the same store.

Clower says she told staff about finding romaine lettuce on their shelves just after a nationwide alert was issued, but she didn’t get the response she was hoping for.

“I said well it’s all over the news, you’ve got romaine sitting out,” Clower said. “And he said ‘well I don’t have an email so we’re not going to pull it.'”

With this in mind, WINK News checked other Cape Coral stores, and several weren’t carrying the lettuce while a Publix near Santa Barbara was still serving salads with the romaine.

The managers at both stores told WINK News they weren’t sure how the lettuce was still on shelves, and Clower says she is worried someone will take home some bad food without realizing it.

“It’s very dangerous, it should be taken very seriously,” she said.

The CDC is taking it seriously, however, and says you shouldn’t eat any romaine even in salad mixes.

WINK News reached out to both Walmart and Publix corporate for a response, but we have not heard back.

Meanwhile, Florida farmers say they will lose millions of dollars because of the CDC alert, and they say don’t think the tainted lettuce originated in Florida.

WINK News reporter Morgan Rynor was live near Belle Glade where many farmers grow romaine lettuce as well as other types of lettuce. Watch the full segment below where farmers discuss how they are handling the romaine lettuce scare.

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