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Health Officials Say It's Okay To Eat Romaine From Arizona

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PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – It's okay to eat some romaine lettuce. The FDA now says romaine from certain areas is safe.

The E. coli investigation involving romaine lettuce continues, but federal health officials say what's currently being harvested in Arizona shows no signs of contamination.

Romaine lettuce is going back on the shelves at Iovine Brother Produce at the Reading Terminal Market.

"We got an all clear as long as it is not from California, it would be okay, so Arizona lettuce is fine," said Jimmy Iovine.

Federal health officials say romaine is okay now, as long as it doesn't come from California's central coast.

A week ago, store shelves were cleared days before Thanksgiving when Americans were advised to stay away from all kinds of romaine lettuce because of an E. coli outbreak.

Iovine says you won't be able to tell it's from Arizona by looking at it.

"It looks the same from California and Arizona," said Iovine.

While the exact source hasn't been identified it appears it was romaine from California that sickened 43 people in 12 states including New Jersey.

"The E. coli everybody [is] talking about so I'm trying to figure out which is the better lettuce," said Diane Smith.

Federal health officials say if you're going to buy romaine you need to look for labels that identify where it comes from.

Many are still fearful. Jimmy thinks sales will be down for months because it happened with other recalls.

"It's going to take them a while to actually believe that it's actually good and fresh and healthy to eat," said Jimmy.

Practicing what he preaches, Jimmy says his whole family will be back to enjoying Arizona romaine.

"My kids will eat it, my wife no problem," said Jimmy.

The CDC says if you can't find a label or sign indicating where the romaine is harvested, it's probably best to take a pass.

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