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E. Coli-Tainted Romaine Lettuce Traced to California Growing Regions

Plus, a New Jersey university doesn’t want Chick-fil-A on campus, and more food news

CDC Warns Americans Against Eating Romaine Lettuce After E Coli Outbreak Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

FDA updates America’s latest lettuce disaster

The Food and Drug Administration has an update on the E. coli outbreak that resulted in a total recall of romaine lettuce. Investigators are still conducting their research, but they have determined the tainted greens were grown in northern and central California, and the agency now says romaine grown in other regions is safe to eat. Just check the label, which will display a harvest location and date going forward. Should any romaine packaging not include this information, “you should not eat or use it,” says the FDA.

So far, the outbreak has sickened 43 people in 12 states, plus another 22 people in Canada. The FDA is now imploring America’s leafy-greens lobby to impose more rigorous safety standards in an attempt to prevent future outbreaks. That may come across as a mixed signal to those in the industry since the agency, at the behest of President Donald Trump, rolled back safety regulations earlier this year.

Chick-fil-A is not welcome at Rider University

Atlanta-based chicken-sandwich chain Chick-fil-A has been working to sweep its anti-gay history under the rug, but officials at Rider University in Lawrenceville, New Jersey, won’t let the company off the hook. After students responding to a survey expressed a desire to have a location on campus, the school nixed Chick-fil-A as a potential dining option, reports NBC News. Administrators cited their “desire to provide satisfying options for a new on-campus restaurant while also being faithful to our values of inclusion.”

In 2012, Chick-fil-A chief executive officer Dan Cathy, son of late founder S. Truett Cathy, admitted his company held an anti-gay corporate stance. In recent years, as the chain has expanded beyond the South, executives have said they want to focus on serving people, not social policy, but that hasn’t stopped Chick-fil-A from donating money to anti-LGBTQ+ organizations.

And in other food news ...

  • Fox News is developing a streaming platform called Fox Nation, and a conservative-slanted cooking show is in the works. Per the New York Times: “On the new show Cooking With Steve Doocy, the pink-faced Fox News anchor makes chili with Dr. Oz, shares a kitchen with Kellyanne Conway, and whips up stromboli with Anthony Scaramucci and his wife.” Woof. [New York Times]
  • Those plastic-lined to-go coffee cups can be recycled, actually, and Starbucks says it has just recycled 25 million of them. [Fast Company]
  • Fatima Ali, the Top Chef alum who is facing terminal cancer, says she may write a book in the last few months of her life. Ali’s fans are into it. [@chefat on Instagram]
  • Disney World is getting a Ratatouille ride like the one at Disneyland Paris. [People]
  • Seth Rogan has added a bunch of comedians to the cast of his as-yet-untitled movie about a man who is brined in a vat of pickles for 100 years. [Deadline]
  • Nik Sharma, author of Season: Big Flavors, Beautiful Food, is working on a new cookbook. Details, such as a title and publication date, are scarce at the moment. [Publisher’s Marketplace]
  • Finally, after surviving breast cancer, Semi-Homemade star and cookbook author Sandra Lee has decided to become more political. She’s calling officials in Democrat-led states to push for policies that would expanding breast cancer screenings and eliminate insurance co-pays for mammograms. [New York Times]

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