Step Away from the Romaine—Consumer Reports Recommends Ditching Romaine amid E. coli Outbreak

By: Devon O'Brien, Digital Food Editor

Romaine lettuce may be the source of E. coli food poisoning, but don't ditch all your salad goals just yet. Here are 8 other greens to eat instead.

Updated May 3, 2018

If you’re gearing up to eat lots of big, fresh leafy salads now that the weather is getting warmer (or because you are taking our Salad-a-Day Challenge)—you’ll want to read this.

After 58 cases of E. coli food poisoning from romaine lettuce were reported in the United States and Canada in November and December of last year, Consumer Reports recommended avoiding the green in January. Now, another unrelated E. coli outbreak has the FDA recommending consumers avoid any romaine lettuce grown in the Yuma, Arizona, area—whether chopped, whole head or hearts—after the CDC reported 121 people in 25 states have become ill and one person has died since mid-April.

But don't let a romaine recall stomp out your salad-eating goals—here are eight leafy greens to eat instead this month.

Related: The One Formula You Need to Make an Incredible Healthy Salad

Green Leaf Lettuce

Pictured recipe: Mixed Green Salad with Pomegranate, Dates & Bacon

It might not be as crunchy as romaine, but it's the closest thing you've got right now. Plus, it's just as delicious and nutritious.


Pictured recipe: Red Cabbage Salad with Blue Cheese & Maple-Glazed Walnuts

If it's crunch you crave, reach for cabbage. It's even crunchier than romaine and is great in slaw, tossed in a mixed green salad, as a topper for tacos or even roasted in wedges.


Pictured recipe: Grilled Chicken Taco Salad

This peppery green will take any salad up a notch. After trying it once, you may just make it a regular staple in your salad repertoire.


Pictured recipe: Warm Pear & Spinach Salad with Maple-Bacon Vinaigrette

Spinach is much more tender than romaine, but also more versatile. Eat it fresh, cooked or even in a smoothie.


Pictured recipe: Winter Salad with Halloumi "Croutons"

This typically cooked green mimics the texture of romaine nicely, though it is more bitter. Try it in a salad with roasted veggies to slightly wilt the leaves.

Baby Kale

Pictured recipe: Baby Kale Breakfast Salad with Quinoa & Strawberries

The young, early version of a superfood favorite is easier to eat in a salad than its mature counterpart.

Butter Lettuce

Pictured recipe: Spring Roll Salad

This ultra-tender lettuce is great in a salad or for making lettuce wraps.

Mixed Greens

Pictured recipe: Quinoa Chickpea Salad with Roasted Red Pepper Hummus Dressing

And, of course, you can never go wrong with an instant salad that has diverse flavors and textures from mixed greens.

If you'd rather just stay away from lettuce altogether, try one of these produce-packed salads for lettuce-haters.

Watch: How to Make an Incredible Healthy Salad