FDA issues consumer, restaurant tomato warning

June 9, 2008

ROCKVILLE, Md. — The Food and Drug Administration has expanded its warning to consumers and restaurateurs nationwide that a salmonellosis outbreak has been linked to the consumption of certain raw red plum, red Roma and red round tomatoes, and products containing these tomatoes.

The FDA recommends that consumers not eat raw red Roma, raw red plum, raw red round tomatoes, or products that contain these types of raw red tomatoes unless the tomatoes are from the sources listed on the FDA Web site. Consumers should continue to eat cherry tomatoes, grape tomatoes and tomatoes sold with the vine still attached, or tomatoes grown at home.

The FDA published a list of states, territories and countries where tomatoes are grown and harvested which have not been associated with this outbreak. The list is available at www.fda.gov/oc/opacom/hottopics/tomatoes.html#retailers, and will be updated as more information becomes available.

The FDA recommends 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 the sources listed above. Cherry tomatoes, grape tomatoes and tomatoes sold with the vine still attached, may continue to be offered from any source.

Since mid-April, there have been 145 reported cases of salmonellosis caused by Salmonella "Saintpaul" nationwide, including at least 23 hospitalizations. States reporting illnesses linked to the outbreak include: Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Oregon, Texas, Utah, Virginia, Washington and Wisconsin. Salmonella Saintpaul is an uncommon type of Salmonella.

Salmonella can cause serious and sometimes fatal infections particularly in young children, frail or elderly people and those with weakened immune systems. All Salmonella infections should be reported to state or local health authorities.

Read more from news outlets across North America on how specific areas, from Hawaii to New Jersey as well as Canada, are responding to the outbreak:


The (Palm Springs) Desert Sun

The Altanta Journal-Constitution

Topics: Food & Beverage , Operations Management

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