On April 10, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention began investigating an outbreak of E. coli which, according to the CDC website, was traced back to “whole heads of romaine lettuce from the Yuma, Arizona growing region.”

Stan Park, the operations director of Brandeis Sodexo, verified in an email to the Justice that the food service provider received written confirmation from Russo’s, their produce supplier, that Brandeis’ romaine comes from Salinas Valley, California instead of Yuma, Arizona.

“As soon as we became aware of the situation we reached out to our local produce supplier to verify the source of the romaine we purchased,” Park wrote in the email. “Once it was confirmed that the romaine we serve did not come from Yuma, Arizona, we deemed it to be safe for consumption.”

After Brandeis Sodexo received this confirmation, they posted signs around undergraduate dining locations confirming that their lettuce was “not affected by the recall.”

The CDC determined the source of the infection on April 20. The CDC website for the outbreak recommended that consumers not “eat or buy romaine lettuce unless [they] can confirm it is not from the Yuma growing region.” The website also noted that produce labels frequently do not indicate region of origin. 

According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s information about the outbreak, there have been 64 hospitalizations and one death during the months of March and April.