Q&A on the News

Q: It seems like the last few lettuce recalls have all involved romaine lettuce. Is there something about that produce that makes it more vulnerable to E. coli and other contaminants? I can’t recall any other kinds of lettuce being involved.


A: Romaine is not more susceptible than any other leafy green, Keith R. Schneider, a professor in the Food Science and Human Nutrition Department at the University of Florida, told Q&A on the News.

It depends on various factors, such as adjacent land use, irrigation water quality, irrigation technique (drip versus overhead), and if it’s washed or field packed, he said.

The back-to-back romaine lettuce recalls appear to be a coincidence unless the epidemiology links the summer outbreak with the current one, he added.

Earlier this week, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said it is investigating a multistate outbreak of E. coli infections connected to romaine lettuce grown in northern and central California.

Q: On Page A9, in the Oct. 30 edition, the story, “Mercedes owners recall notices too late,” doesn’t say anything about what the recall is about. I’d like to know.


A: The recalls are related to problems with power-assisted steering, sunroof panels and exploding air bags, according to The Associated Press.