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fda-cdc-narrow-romaine-lettuce-warning.gif Justin Sullivan/Getty Images News/Getty Images

Disruptors 2019: Food recalls

This is part of Supermarket News’ 2019 Disruptors package. See the entire lineup here.

From beef to melons and a whole lot of romaine, it’s been a particularly tough year for food recalls.

Perhaps none was bigger than romaine, which saw not one but two recalls—the first in spring and the second this fall. The second was so far-reaching that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention warned consumers not to eat, and foodservice establishments not to serve, the lettuce.

While E. coli was to blame for the romaine recalls, salmonella was the culprit for a more than 12-million-pound recall of raw beef that started in October and spread through December. And the country’s two largest retailers, Walmart and Kroger, in June recalled fresh-cut melon products from their stores following a multistate outbreak of salmonella.

The recalls not only posed a severe threat to consumers’ health, but also caused disruptions in the supply chains and substitutions in foodservice applications (hello, kale Caesar salads).

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