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Giant Eagle removes some leaf lettuce from shelves amid E. coli concerns

Chuck Biedka
| Sunday, Dec. 16, 2018, 6:12 p.m.
A produce worker stocks shelves near romaine lettuce (top shelf, right) at a Whole Foods supermarket in Washington, DC on November 20, 2018 - US health officials warned consumers not to eat any romaine lettuce and to throw away any they might have in their homes, citing an outbreak of E. coli poisoning. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued the warning against all Romaine lettuce just two days before the Thanksgiving holiday, when American families gather and feast together. (Photo by Andrew CABALLERO-REYNOLDS / AFP)ANDREW CABALLERO-REYNOLDS/AFP/Getty Images
AFP/Getty Images
A produce worker stocks shelves near romaine lettuce (top shelf, right) at a Whole Foods supermarket in Washington, DC on November 20, 2018 - US health officials warned consumers not to eat any romaine lettuce and to throw away any they might have in their homes, citing an outbreak of E. coli poisoning. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued the warning against all Romaine lettuce just two days before the Thanksgiving holiday, when American families gather and feast together. (Photo by Andrew CABALLERO-REYNOLDS / AFP)ANDREW CABALLERO-REYNOLDS/AFP/Getty Images
The Giant Eagle in New Kensington
Tribune-Review
The Giant Eagle in New Kensington

Giant Eagle Inc. on Sunday said it voluntarily removed some red and green lettuce sold at 70 Giant Eagle and Market District locations due to possible E. coli contamination.

The lettuce in question was sold at stores in Western Pennsylvania between Dec. 3 and Dec. 14.

The company initially said a limited supply of lettuce was removed Sunday. In response to a Tribune-Review question, spokesman Dick Roberts clarified that the lettuce, all from Adams Bro. Farming Inc. alone, actually had been removed Friday, one day after the supplier Adams Bros. issued a news release .

“If you bought it, throw it away,” Roberts said on Sunday.

In a Thursday release, Adam Bros. Farming, Inc. based in Santa Monica, CA warned about possible E. coli contamination of its red and green lettuce sold during the 11-day period.

“There have been no illnesses,” said Adams Bros. spokeswoman Krista Peters. She wasn’t available for comment Sunday.

It’s unclear just where the possibly tainted lettuce was harvested.

“Giant Eagle is conducting this voluntary recall out of an abundance of caution. There are no reported illnesses among Giant Eagle customers to date associated with this recall. The affected products can be identified with PLU 4076 (green leaf lettuce) and PLU 4075 (red leaf lettuce),” the company said in a statement.

The illness caused by the bacterium Escherichia coli O157:H7 can cause diarrhea that often with bloody stools. Most healthy adults can recover completely within a week, but some people can develop a form of kidney failure called Hemolytic Uremic Syndrome (HUS), the company warned.

“HUS is most likely to occur in young children and the elderly. The condition can lead to serious kidney damage and even death,” it said.

Customers who have purchased the impacted product should dispose of it or return it to their local Giant Eagle or Market District. Customers may also bring in the qualifying receipt to receive a refund on their purchase of the affected product.

For more information about the recall, customers may visit GiantEagle.com/Product-Recall . Customers may also contact their local Giant Eagle or Giant Eagle Customer Care via GiantEagle.com/contact or at 1-800-553-2324. Giant Eagle’s Customer Care service hours are Monday through Friday, from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.

Also, Giant Eagle Advantage Card holders who purchased the lettuce will be notified by phone if there is a an updated telephone contact number on file.

According to published reports, red leaf lettuce, green leaf lettuce, and cauliflower harvested November 27-30, 2018 were recalled by Adams Bros. Farm after sediment from the farm’s agriculture water reservoir tested positive for E. coli. In a separate romaine lettuce outbreak, 59 people in 16 states have so far fallen ill from E. coli bacteria. The tainted romaine lettuce may have come from the same California farm.

Chuck Biedka is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Chuck at 724-226-4711, cbiedka@tribweb.com or via Twitter @ChuckBiedka.

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