andrew schneider investigates

June 9, 2008

Warning of Salmonella in tomatoes here

Filed under: FDA,Food - good, bad, weird,Food Safety — Andrew Schneider @ 12:43

Pray for sun so your tomatoes start showing up on your home vines . The Food and Drug Administration has expanded its warning to consumers nationwide that a there has been an outbreak of a rare type of salmonellosis linked to consumption of certain raw, red tomatoes.

Our federal food guardians are advising consumers to limit their consumption of tomatoes to those that the FDA says are “not likely to be the source of this outbreak.” They include: Cherry tomatoes, grape tomatoes, tomatoes sold with the vine still attached and tomatoes grown at home, which is nowhere near happening for most Pacific Northwest gardeners.

Since mid- April, the FDA said, there have been 145 reported cases of salmonellosis caused by Salmonella Saintpaul nationwide, including at least 23 hospitalizations. Illnesses linked to the outbreak have been reported in Washington, Oregon and 14 other states.

The FDA warning recommended that retailers, restaurateurs, and food service operators not offer for sale and service raw red Roma, raw red plum, and raw red round tomatoes unless they are from Arkansas, California, Georgia, Hawaii, North and South Carolina, Tennessee and Texas.

Earlier today, according to news reports, McDonald’s says it has stopped serving sliced tomatoes in its restaurants over concerns about the Salmonella outbreak.

Salmonella Saintpaul is an uncommon type of Salmonella.

The agency also says that tomatoes imported from Belgium, Canada, the Dominican Republic, Guatemala, Israel, the Netherlands and Puerto Rico also have not been linked to the outbreak of disease.

Consumers who are unsure of where the tomatoes are from are encouraged to contact the store or place of purchase for that information.


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