If you're planning on taking a salad to your Thanksgiving potluck this year, be wicked careful of what you throw into it: The Centers for Disease Control is currently warning everyone, frigging everywhere to avoid romaine lettuce as if eating it could dose you with E Coli... because there's a pretty decent chance that it will. According to the CDC's Twitter feed for the time being we none of us should be eating "...any romaine lettuce, including whole heads and hearts, chopped, organic and salad mixes with romaine" until they figure out what the source of E Coli is and how much of the romaine supply chain has been contaminated by it. For the complete lowdown on what the CDC knows so far, you'll want to check out their E coli alert page.
For those unfamiliar with it, E coli (Escherichia coli,) bacteria can be found in the guts of healthy folks and many animals. It's fine, for the most part! Some strains of the bug, however, are not so fine. Should one of these strains of E coli get into our systems, typically via the ingestion of contaminated water or food, those stricken by the bug can suffer symptoms ranging fa quick bout of the trots to serious issues with symptoms including severe abdominal cramps, bloody diarrhea and vomiting.
So, maybe serve up a kale, iceberg or coleslaw salad this year, instead. It'll give everyone gathered around your table one more reason to be thankful.