MACON — More than 30 cases of people getting sick from chopped romaine lettuce have been reported to the CDC. Tuesday, Bibb County schools are reacting, and some stores have taken it off the shelves.
Chopped romaine lettuce, the type often used in salads or sandwiches, has hospitalized 22 people across the United States, according to the CDC. Brenda Smelter spent part of the day grocery shopping and said she was not aware of the recall.
"Normally when I go in, I don't buy lettuce, but today, I wanted to try the romaine lettuce. But normally, I always get the spinach leaves to make sandwiches with, but I wanted to try this today," Smelter said.
Luckily, the lettuce Smelter purchased was not affected, but according to the CDC, chopped bagged romaine lettuce from Yuma, Arizona could be contaminated with E. coli. The CDC warning prompted Bibb County schools to throw away all their lettuce.
"We pulled all the products off the shelf, off the line, we made sure none of the items actually were actually romaine lettuce. We made sure none of the romaine lettuce were mixed with other products," said Vequita Gore, the cafeteria manager at Alexander II.
Bibb County Schools sent a phone call to parents Monday night to warn them about the E. coli outbreak, and nutrition director Timikel Sharpe said while this plays out, they will make sure students get other forms of leafy food in their diet.
"We already had a plan that we were going to create the salads using a different lettuce -- that is not a part of the recall. It's not a romaine lettuce, it's what we call an iceberg salad mix," Sharpe said.
The CDC recommends that you throw away any chopped romaine lettuce in your fridge and confirm with restaurants before you order that they are not serving the contaminated mix. Some who have gotten sick developed kidney failure, according to the CDC. Smelter does not want to be one of the people who gets sick and said she is going to let her family know about the recall.
"I'll make sure I let them know, rather it be via text or Facebook, or whatever, to let them to be aware, you know, there is a recall, because sometimes you're rushing and we don't look at the signs, and we just grab something ,"Smelter said.
The CDC says this outbreak is not specific and they have not identified a common source for the romaine lettuce. They say if you have any questions about lettuce you purchased, be smart and just throw it away. The CDC is still investigating this E. coli outbreak and said more cases may be possible.