Dining With Denise Neil

Sorry, Caesar fans: Wichita restaurants pulling, changing salads during romaine scare

Some Wichita restaurants are clearing their kitchens of romaine lettuce in response to a CDC warning.
Some Wichita restaurants are clearing their kitchens of romaine lettuce in response to a CDC warning. Getty Images

Restaurants in Wichita are taking the recent E. coli outbreak in romaine lettuce seriously, and for some, that means scrapping their Caesar salads — and altering the recipes in others.

Il Vicino, which has restaurants at 4817 E. Douglas and 2132 N. Rock Road in Wichita, told customers via Facebook this weekend that it was eliminating romaine lettuce from the menu for now.

"We are substituting spring mix, red and green leaf, and will still serve our other lettuces," the post read. "Also, our Caesar salad will temporarily be discontinued unless a substitute lettuce is desired."

A Chick-fil-A restaurant in Wichita is also making changes. The restaurant at Central and Rock posted on Saturday that it had discarded all the romaine in its restaurant and would not be serving salads. This morning, the restaurant said it had resumed serving salads but would be using green leaf lettuce.

"Our Romaine Lettuce supply will be replenished this week as we source it from Salinas, CA," the post read. "Thank you for being understanding as we worked through this food safety concern."

On Saturday, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention expanded its warning about tainted romaine lettuce from Arizona and advised consumers to throw away any store-bought romaine lettuce in their kitchens. It also warned restaurants not to serve romaine. As of Saturday, the outbreak had infected 53 people in 16 states.

Meanwhile, local grocer Green Acres posted that it was selling "the safe stuff." Its romaine lettuce is grown at Cheney Lake Produce in Hutchinson.

"The CDC warnings are in regards to Arizona grown lettuce," the store's post read. "Not KS."

The Centers for Disease Control says an E.coli outbreak linked to romaine lettuce has sickened 43 people in 12 states in the U.S. and 22 people in the Canadian provinces of Ontario and Quebec.

Related stories from Wichita Eagle