The Financial Effect of the Romaine Lettuce E. Coli Outbreak Ripples through the Food Supply

Beyond the human suffering (one person killed, 75 hospitalized and 172 sick), the E. coli outbreak caused enormous losses to growers, retailers, and disrupted supply chains as restaurants scrambled to find romaine lettuce alternatives. “During the week of April 14 (the week the news broke), romaine dollar sales fell 20%, which pushed total lettuce performance down by double digits: iceberg lettuce dollar sales were down 19%; red leaf lettuce dollar sales fell 16%; and endive dollar sales dipped 17%,” according to a Nielsen report on National Salad Month. In May, Romaine sales fell nearly 45%, according to the WSJ, iceberg fell 22%, and red leaf fell 17%. Prices for whole heads of romaine lettuce were down 60%. @
The Financial Impact of the Romaine Lettuce E. Coli Outbreak Isn't Over

Grower, retailers and restaurants are still feeling the impact.

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