DALLAS - It seems you cannot rely on some grocery stores to stop selling the romaine lettuce the CDC issued a warning about after a new E. coli care.
The CDC does not yet know the origin of the contaminated romaine lettuce, it says, has sickened 32 people in 11 states. So it's safety warning issued Tuesday says do not eat any romaine lettuce from grocery stores or at restaurants.
Texas is not one of the states where people have gotten sick. However, some Dallas grocery stores were still selling romaine lettuce Tuesday afternoon, so it is buyer beware.
The warning on romaine lettuce certainly affects restaurants and grocery stores. Several local restaurants were way ahead of the CDC while at least some local grocers did not get the word right away.
Virtually all of the local restaurants contacted by FOX 4 said they don't currently serve romaine lettuce, like Beto & Son Restaurant in the Trinity Groves district of Dallas.
"A few years ago, there was some warnings about romaine lettuce. It never got confirmed as far as if romaine lettuce is causing some of the sicknesses. But two years ago when we opened the restaurant, we decided not to use romaine,” said Julian Rodarte, co-owner of Beto & Son. “Because of some of the warnings in the past year, a lot of chefs like me have decided to pull it off the menu."
Several major grocery chains said they were pulling romaine from their shelves. By Tuesday afternoon, it was gone from almost all local Target and the Sprouts stores.
But the first customer we approached outside a Kroger had not heard the warning and had just purchased romaine.
Bron Wyn returned the romaine she had just bought and got her money back.
“There's tons of it still in there now,” she said. “They kind of acted like they didn't know about it."
A Fiesta store not far away was another place that was still selling romaine several hours after the CDC warning went out.
Ganesh Shivaramaiyer with Dallas County Health & Human Services is telling people to avoid eating romaine entirely.
“We're telling them if you have them or if you purchased them, throw them,” he warned. “Avoid them in any form: shredded, boxed, whole lettuce. Completely avoid them."
The current strain of E. coli is different than the one linked to romaine earlier this year, which originated in Arizona. The CDC says it still does not know where the contaminated lettuce is coming from.
“E. coli can be serious,” Shivaramaiyer said. “It can send someone to the hospital and even be deadly in some cases."
Health officials say those most at risk of E. coli are children under five, adults over 65 and anyone with one or more underlying conditions.