Nfld. & Labrador

Jungle Jim's pulls romaine lettuce from restaurants amidst E. coli warnings

Jungle Jim's Eatery has pulled romaine lettuce off its menu as a safety measure in light of a recent E. coli warning.

Restaurant removes romaine lettuce from all 26 locations until E. coli concerns resolved

The Jungle Jim's in Goulds is one of 26 locations removing romaine lettuce from its menu. Diners can substitute other lettuces when looking for healthier options until an E. Coli warning issued by the Public Health Agency is resolved. (Sherry Vivian/CBC)

Despite no formal recall of romaine lettuce, Jungle Jim's Eatery has decided to pull the leafy greens from menus in all 26 of its locations just in case.

The move comes in response to a notice issued by the Public Health Agency of possible E. coli contamination in some romaine lettuce.

As of Dec. 28, there are 41 cases of E. coli related illnesses under investigation, including 13 from Newfoundland and Labrador. One person has died but their location was not specified. The source of the contamination is still unknown.

Dwayne Legge, special projects manager with Jungle Jim's, said in matters like these it's always better to be safe than sorry.

"Our ultimate concern is our guests safety," said Legge. "So we will obviously continue to have it removed from our restaurants until we're comfortable that there is no risk involved – or we've received notice that there is no other safety concerns."

Dwayne Legge, Special Projects Manager with Jungle Jims Eatery says the move to pull romaine lettuce from all 26 locations is a safety precaution. (Sherry Vivian/CBC)

Sysco, the food distributor Jungle Jim's Eatery and many other Atlantic Canadian restaurants, issued an email statement on Friday morning to CBC News to acknowledge that the company is keeping a close eye on the E. coli warnings.

"Sysco is aware of the notice made by the Public Health Agency of Canada, advising people in eastern Canada to consider avoiding romaine lettuce, and we are closely monitoring the situation," the statement read.

Jungle Jims Eatery decided to pull romaine lettuce from its menu. A recent safety notice about possible e-coli contamination prompted the move. The restaurant chain offers alternative for those seeking a healthier option. (Sherry Vivian/CBC)

Sobeys also chose to err on the side of caution, pulling nearly 300 romaine lettuce products from its grocery store shelves just before the Christmas holidays.

Jungle Jim's said the move will affect some customers but overall the response to the menu change has been supportive. 

"We've been getting a lot of positive feedback and guests saying that its nice to see that we're putting their interests first," Legge said.

According to the Public Health Agency of Canada website, the search for answers into the E. coli outbreak is ongoing. It promises to provide the public with updates as the investigation continues.

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