TOLEDO, OH (WTOL) - If you're a salad lover you can start to breath a sigh of relief after the Lucas County Health Department has issued the E. coli outbreak as basically over.
The source of the Shiga Toxin-producing E. coli has been investigated by the CDC and the FDA as coming from the area of Yuma, Arizona, so as long as the packaging of lettuce doesn't say that, according to the health commissioner you're most likely in the clear.
And that's why many grocery stores have been taking it off their shelves recently, although there haven't been any known reports of E. coli in Lucas County let alone in our state.
Kroger, Meijer and Walmart took them off their produce shelves for about a week, but are now fully stocked after pitching the romaine lettuce at the onset of the outbreak, which the health commissioner is applauding.
"Speaking with our sanitarians for recalls like this we do make sure that they hear about the recall, they know about the recall and you know 99% of the time, they already know about it and they're already pulling the product off the shelf, but again it's kind of one of those follow up things we like to do," Eric Zgodzinski, the Lucas County Health Commissioner said.
Other grocery stores in the area, like Monette's, never pulled their lettuce from their shelves, because they get their source from California. Aldi in Toledo is fully stocked with the product that they also get from California.
But places like Chipotle, Panera and Chick-fil-A, that all get their lettuce from the same distributor, took safety measures too. Chipotle pulled their lettuce for a few days, following the recall, simply as a safety precaution.
Wednesday is the first day they're serving lettuce again as normal and people are pleased they took that precautionary step.
"I think if there is any danger or there's a possibility of getting people sick you want to make sure that you're taking care of the people who enjoy your product, you know, enjoy your food," Nick Rodriguez, who ate at Chipotle Wednesday said. "You don't want the bad publicity after, you know,"
And you may remember Chipotle has had a history of an E. coli outbreak before, so they weren't going to take any chances. And the health commissioner says you don't have to either, and if you are worried about the source, simply just ask.
"Buyer beware. We have to ask questions, I mean we're consuming it," Zgodzinski said. "So you should be going back to your store and going well 'decipher,' where is this coming from."
The recall was taken very seriously because of the effects it can have on your body, which can be as severe as kidney failure if left untreated.
"As it grows and breaks down within your body, it produces a toxin which again, is a 'poison' that are body then has to contend with," Zgodzinski said.
Checking the labeling of where the produce was sourced will be your best bet to avoid consuming contaminated products.