Suffolk farm offers ‘safe’ romaine lettuce in wake of CDC recall

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SUFFOLK, Va. (WAVY) — The Neighborhood Harvest Farm in Suffolk says they have plenty of “safe” romaine to offer despite a recent recall.

“We’re a different kind of business,” said John Stein, CEO of Neighborhood Harvest. “We hopefully are a much safer alternative to some of the field grown dangers throughout the country, and the world.”

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on Tuesday announced a romaine lettuce food safety alert.

“CDC is advising that U.S. consumers not eat any romaine lettuce, and retailers and restaurants not serve or sell any, until we learn more about the outbreak.”

The CDC reports 32 people have become sick from eating contaminated romaine — with more than a dozen hospitalized, and one person is suffering from kidney failure.

RELATED: Romaine lettuce linked to recent E.coli outbreak, CDC says

Stein says the all of their produce is grown inside of an enclosed greenhouse. The produce is also grown hydroponically — which means no dirt or contaminated water. The locally based farm, which delivers to about 4,500 customers, is not impacted by the recall. 

However, Stein says the recent recall reveals the dangers of bacteria.

“It’s very highly regulated but it’s still very difficult hard to identify as you can seeing right now with them not being able to identify where the source is. With us you can come right here. It’s clean grown. It’s safe,” explained Stein.

If you still want to stay away from romaine lettuce, you have other green options like baby kale, arugula and bibb lettuce.

Meanwhile, the CDC works to trace the source of the recent E.coli outbreak. The CDC is advising that consumers do not eat any romaine lettuce until an investigation is complete.

Stein says he hopes the CDC can trace the source of the contamination.

“They have a responsibility to the farmers throughout this country that grow romaine,” said Stein. “It’s very sad because their livelihoods are affected by this.”

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