Romaine lettuce recall 2010: Stores offer refunds

In the wake of a romaine lettuce recall, Kroger, Giant Eagle, Ingles Markets say they'll refund customers who return salads made with the suspect lettuce.

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    Kroger issued an ice cream recall for 48 ounce packages of its Deluxe Chocolate Paradise Ice Cream. The packages don't warn consumers there are nuts inside, the company says. Customers affected by the ice cream recall can return it to a Kroger store for a full refund or replacement.
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If you bought a "grab and go" salad that's part of the romaine lettuce recall, you can get a full refund.

At least three of the four grocery chains that have carried recalled romaine lettuce confirm that consumers who have purchased a salad with the suspect product can return it for a full refund.

The lettuce comes from Freshway Foods, has a "use by" date of May 12 or earlier, and was sold at in-store salad bars or delis at Kroger, Giant Eagle, Ingles Markets, and Marsh stores, according to Freshway.

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The salads were sold in the District of Columbia and 23 states, mostly east of the Mississippi River: Alabama, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Missouri, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia, and Wisconsin.

Several of the companies say they've already removed the salads. Nevertheless, it's possible that consumers bought the salads before the romaine products were recalled.

Freshway counsels consumers to throw the product away. But Kroger, Giant Eagle, and Ingles Markets all say they're prepared to refund customers their money if they bring in the suspect salad. Marsh's spokeswoman couldn't be reached for comment.

The recall doesn't affect Freshway salads made with romaine after the May 12 "by use" date. Nor does it affect bulk or prepackaged romaine lettuce or bagged salad mixes using romaine, typically found in the produce section, since Freshway doesn't make those products.

Freshway, based in Sidney, Ohio, recalled its romaine after the Food and Drug Administration found one bag had been infected by E. coli bacteria. The lettuce has been linked to illness in at least 19 cases, three of them involving a potentially life-threatening complication.

For more information, consumers can call Freshway at 888-361-7106 or visit its website for updates (www.freshwayfoods.com). The company's release on the recall is here. The FDA's release can be found here.

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