Salad fans everywhere are celebrating the news that they can begin to enjoy some Romaine lettuce again. Yahoo! News is saying that the 21-day shelf life for Romaine is now up meaning any infected lettuce should have been thrown away already. But that's not the whole story!

The only reason the E. coli outbreak is beginning to wind down is that the harvest season for the Arizona growing region is over. Officials from the Centers For Disease Control still don’t know exactly why the lettuce had become contaminated in the first place — or at the very least they haven’t made a conclusion that can be reported to the general public.

So people are now asking the question if they aren't sure how the lettuce became infected how can they know this new lettuce we are receiving is 'clean'?  There are a number of reasons for the slow progress on finding the cause of contamination. Lettuce from multiple farms is often combined during the sorting and packaging process, and investigators have to check every step along the supply chain in search of the contamination point. With the growing season now over, it might be even more difficult to find the “smoking gun,” so to speak, but health officials obviously still need to sort it out before lettuce production begins again in the region.

Regardless of the lettuce scare, I'm still making BLT's this weekend!

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