ALERT – Prominent Lakewood Pediatrician Warns To Stay Away From Lettuce, Cabbage Over E. Coli Issue


Last week, YWN published an alert from the CDC regarding an E. Coli outbreak linked to romaine lettuce. But now, one prominent Lakewood doctor is urging caution with cabbage too.

TLS reports Lakewood pediatrician Dr. Reuven Shanik said today that the public should refrain from using cabbage and lettuce – both iceberg and romaine – due to the recent E. Coli breakout.

The Center for Disease Control, several states, and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration are investigating at least 17 cases of people sickened in 13 states: California (3), Connecticut (2), Illinois (1), Indiana (1), Michigan (1), Nebraska (1), New Hampshire (2), New York (1), Ohio (1), Pennsylvania (1), Virginia (1), Vermont (1) and Washington (1). The Illnesses started on November 15 and lasted through December 8, 2017.

The Public Health Agency of Canada reported 1 death and at least 40 sickened from a similar strain of e. coli.

The CDC has not definitively connected the outbreak to romaine. However, the type of E. coli making people ill resembles that linked to a similar outbreak in Canada, where the Public Health Agency identified romaine lettuce as the source.

Arizona and California produce about 90% of the lettuce and other leafy greens grown in the United States. The produce also comes from Mexico.

The CDC has said it is unable to recommend whether Americans should avoid lettuce, as it has not yet concluded their investigation.

The food-safety experts at Consumer Reports are advising consumers to avoid romaine all together and any products with romaine in them — such as salad blends and mixes — until the cause is found, identified and removed from store shelves.

Dr. Shanik recommended staying away from all types of lettuce and cabbage “until they can figure it out.”

YWN has not been able to locate the source which Dr. Shanik used as basis for extending the CDC alert to cabbage.

Lakewood pediatrician Dr Reuven Shanik

(YWN World Headquarters – NYC)



  1. This is pure fearmongering. While this prominent Lakewood pediatrician is undoubtbly trying to inform his patients who may otherwise not be aware of this e coli outbreak that it may be prudent to avoid romaine it must be stressed that a pediatrician’s expertise is in treating children. His knowledge with regard to the source of the E Coli sickness is not greater than anybody else. The CDC doesn’t know the source and neither does anybody else. In matters of E Coli, Zika etc it is best to follow the CDC advisories and not create hysteria based on advisory letters and messages to patients.

  2. To crazy kanooey.
    This is not anymore of a fearmongering tactic then trying to convince people every few weeks that the only strawberries , broccoli,romaine lettuce, raisins,bluberries, corn, etc one can eat is with this and this hechsher and one can not be trusted with checking by themselves.
    Before hechsherim were around everyone checked and that is the way it was done for thousands of years.
    So theres no need to re invent the wheel.
    Here comes along a prominent doctor and is warning us as a precaution NOT to eat any romaine lettuce and cabbage untill the feds sort it out ,so along come some groysa chachumim like crazykanooy are knockng him for being extra cautious..

    Crazycanoiy, its ok to be machmir for bugs with new kol kores every other week on more fruits and veghies but its not ok to be machmir about a health situation where people across the world are on their death beds from e coli poisoning , possibly from certain green veggies? Its people like i who make a mockery out of yiddishkiet. Its obvious that when it involves $$$ anything goes including someones health and yiddish kiet is out the window. You shoud go ask mechilla berabim from dr. shanick who is trying to be extra cautious about a possible e coli outbreak among the yiddin.

  3. If we are trusting govt websites, then see this :
    that E Coli grows in intestines, did anyone every hear of e coli in a vegetable before?!
    Romain lettuce is an important source of vitamins and helps regulate the digestive system- we should not eliminate it so quickly. drugs and vaccines cannot replace healthy eating…
    In any case, we have another source of romain lettuce, eretz yisrael- they export whole romain heads pesach time and I believe many packaged vegetables are available from there year round. Check your local frum supermarket. it comes with a great hechsher and just needs to be soaked in soap water for a minute and washed- no checking needed.

  4. The above letter makes no sense. It starts with “as per the CDC” but the CDC has not advised against consuming any food. Consumer reports has advised that it would be prudent to avoid romaine but that view is not shared by the CDC or FDA. Furthermore there is no reputable organization that is advising consuming other types of lettuce or cabbage. Dr. Shanik should properly identify the source for his recommendations or promptly withdraw his advisory letter before it causes unnecessary fear or hardship to people.

  5. In any case, we have another source of romain lettuce, eretz yisrael- they export whole romain heads pesach time and I believe many packaged vegetables are available from there year round. Check your local frum supermarket. it comes with a great hechsher and just needs to be soaked in soap water for a minute and washed- no checking needed.
    Why the need to wash it all together and especially with soap? What is the hashguchis for if you must wash it with soap?

  6. Given how serious an issue it is, we have an achrayus to ask the roshei yeshiva shlit”a for their da’as torah about this matzav. Does anyone here know if the roshei yeshiva said anything about this?

  7. If you soak the romaine in a very low concentration solution of clorox and water and then rinse thoroughly, that should reduce the risk of contamination…..

    there is a real quesiton of assuring something as labor intensive as checking romaine for bugs etc. Think of how many mashgichim would lose their jobs or work fewer hours.

  8. M
    Are you serious?
    Or am I mistaken and the roshei yeshiva have degrees in agronomy, food science, food technology, public health, microbiology, or medicine?

  9. takes2-2tango: anyone can check lettuce themselves, if they have decent eyesight and know what to look for. it just takes time, which is a commodity that many people in our times do not have. the hechsherim on lettuce save time and are no different that any other service that saves time for things you could do yourself( mowing lawn, shoveling snow). the hechsherim on commercially produced foods is a different story and is a professional job- very complicated to assure a modern day factory is kosher.
    the washing with soap is per the instructions on the package , to get off any surface bugs that may have flow in before packaging. the small green bugs that are found on wild grown romain and are hard to see, do not come off with a rinse and require leaf by leaf checking in good lighting. they are not found on the lettuce with the hechsher. again , you are welcome to check the wild grown romain if you want to leaf by leaf. many hechsherim have instructions on their website how to check green leafy vegetables for bugs.

  10. I understand that sakanta chamura deisuro, however, there have been zero cases in new jersey and one case in new York, over a month ago. This ban seems silly to me

  11. Reading the previous comments starting from Jan 9, 2018, it seems there are trash talkers in this comment thread. To avoid getting hurt or sick from following some of the nonsense posted here, it woild be prudent to ask your reliable doctor and a posek who knows the relevant inyonim.

  12. According to Lakewood Scoop Dr. Shanik (after consultation with experts in the field and reviewing the CDC advisory) is now fine with all Romaine. Don’t worry torah613ami and takes2-2tango we won’t hold it against you.