America tries to eat its vegetables, so the recent romaine lettuce E. coli outbreak has put everyone from Caesar salad fans to those who barely tolerate a splash of greens in a taco on high alert.
But how did these seemingly innocent little leaves turn deadly?
The Centers for Disease Control has tallied 121 cases in 25 states stemming from the romaine lettuce grown in the Yuma, Ariz., region, including one death and 52 hospitalizations. Fourteen people suffered kidney failure. The victims are between one and 88 years old.
We've sent men to the moon. Many of us carry tiny computers in our pockets. So why can't we keep romaine lettuce safe and clean? Here's some reasons why lettuce is so vulnerable and why tracking down the source of a bacterial outbreak can be difficult.