By now, you may have heard the big news about romaine lettuce: It’s not safe to eat — again. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced in no uncertain terms Tuesday that no types of romaine lettuce should be trusted in the wake of yet another outbreak of E. coli infections.
Not whole heads of romaine. Not hearts of romaine. Not the shredded lettuce in your bagged “spring mix” salad.
Throw it all away, the CDC declared. And sanitize your refrigerator while you’re at it.
There was reason for such a severe warning: Contaminated lettuce has sickened at least 32 people in 11 states in this latest E. coli outbreak. While no one has died, one patient suffered a form of kidney failure, the CDC said.
Still, the dire food-safety alert caught some people off guard.
BREAKING: CDC releases exclusive image of the deadly romaine lettuce threat pic.twitter.com/rD4MyQ6Tz9— Adam Blickstein (@AdamBlickstein) November 20, 2018
For a few, the timing of the warning was not ideal.
Me: *Eats a large salad for lunch with plenty of romaine lettuce*— Marshall (@SuperMarshio) November 20, 2018
Phone vibrates: pic.twitter.com/nP247xYPbm
BREAKING: Food regulators urge Americans not to eat any romaine lettuce because of new food poisoning outbreak. pic.twitter.com/SQ3WJmcKea— Devo (@mdevine29) November 20, 2018
...tfw you see the AP romaine alert as you have a MOUTHFUL OF ROMAINE https://t.co/9v5EMlUaDF— AnnGerhart (@AnnGerhart) November 20, 2018
People set about disposing their romaine lettuce as advised. Everyone west of the Rockies began looking for a new Thanksgiving side dish, if this regional map is to be believed.
Getting rid of the dagum romaine with proper precautions! pic.twitter.com/Yp6H9TcPfz— Crystal Merritt (@CrystalMerritt) November 20, 2018
I threw out my Romaine lettuce and decided to make a salad out of leftover Halloween candy. So👏🏻Much👏🏻Better👏🏻 #romainelettuce pic.twitter.com/daTPLSzgLA— Miss Trendy (@Miss_Trendy11) November 21, 2018
Turkey has salmonella. Romaine is not safe to eat. I guess we're down to sweet potatoes, corn casserole and pumpkin pie for Thanksgiving. Works for me! https://t.co/xvunyoJ2eb— Ana Navarro (@ananavarro) November 20, 2018
now having to scramble one day out because my Thanksgiving theme this year was Romaine Seven Ways.— Jason (@Jason_Moser) November 21, 2018
Well, my all romaine Thanksgiving is ruined.— Schooley (@Rschooley) November 21, 2018
Earlier this year, another E. coli outbreak linked to contaminated romaine lettuce — the largest in more than a decade — killed five people and sickened more than 200 others in three dozen states, as The Washington Post’s Lena H. Sun reported. This fact was not lost on people.
C'mon, romaine lettuce. Get it together. pic.twitter.com/QwTeTqjrKV— John Buhl (@jbuhl35) November 20, 2018
Mostly, though, people couldn’t wait to recycle their romaine lettuce jokes, puns and memes from the last recall. (There are only so many.)
friends, comrades... it is with a heavy heart i announce that its time to bring back the romaine memes pic.twitter.com/MxMwPbRlaj— space cadet (@paladinpals) November 20, 2018
lettuce send thoughts and prayers #romainelettuce pic.twitter.com/7iKUwl7Adt— magaroni and cheese (@__maggieeb) November 21, 2018
WHAT THE HELL IS ROMAINE LETTUCE? pic.twitter.com/dPep2PyhZy— Michael Cohen (@speechboy71) November 20, 2018
Romaine Calm and... pic.twitter.com/5omKajYueK— ian bremmer (@ianbremmer) November 21, 2018
Finally, a shout-out to all those who made a “ptomaine romaine” joke. Again, it’s technically a strain of E. coli that is sickening people but … we see you.
You say romaine, I say ptomaine, let's call the whole thing off.— Mig Greengard (@chessninja) November 20, 2018
People used to worry about being sickened by ptomaine but now have to avoid romaine.— danny (@Mardigroan) November 20, 2018
I’d suggest “Ptomaine Romaine”, but I don’t think half the population would understand the joke.— Elle Young (@LynYung) November 21, 2018