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Romaine lettuce, turkey warnings have some shoppers cautious about Thanksgiving meals

KANSAS CITY, Mo. --Romaine lettuce is coming down from the shelves after the FDA announced it's too dangerous to eat. That, and a recent salmonella outbreak related to turkey, has left some shoppers nervous about their holiday meals.

Michele Kelley had a busy day Wednesday. She went to Trader Joe's, Sun Fresh Market and Costco and has a trunk packed full of food for her family.

"I'm running around like a crazy person trying to get everything for Thanksgiving dinner," Kelley said. "I just came to Sun Fresh for some salad greens, things like that, paper towels."

Kelley bought some green leaf lettuce, but you won't find any romaine in her bags. And it's unlikely you'll find them anywhere else after the FDA's warning about an E. coli outbreak.

"I saw that they had this long leaf lettuce, but from the back, it kind of looked like romaine lettuce," Kelley said. "When I saw that it wasn't, I felt safe. But if it had been, I would probably have turned around and left."

The FDA is investigating the source of the harmful E. coil strain, a bacteria that has made more than 30 people sick in 11 states. Officials with the KCMO Health Department said it's something people need to take seriously.

"There's no official recall because the investigation is undergoing. So the safest bet is if you have it in your fridge, to go ahead and throw it away," said Carolyn White with the health department.

E. coli isn't the only thing people have to worry about when it comes to their Thanksgiving dinners.

The CDC is looking into a salmonella outbreak linked to ground turkey and some raw and live turkeys. Jennie-O recalled several of its turkey products as a result of the outbreak.

White said when it comes to cooking turkeys, the most important things to be aware of are the temperature, thawing and handling.

"We make sure that all of our birds are cooked to a minimum temperature of 165 degrees," White said. "That we are not thawing anything on a counter. Make sure we thaw everything in a refrigerator."

And of course, wash your hands after touching the turkey to prevent the spread of bacteria.

"It's really scary," Kelley said. "I don't want to have anyone get sick at all and especially on my watch."

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