24 June 2008

In case you are worried about the "Tomato Scare"...

In case you are worried here is the straight dope from the FDA...

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Update on the Investigation, June 20, 2008

The FDA has completed the traceback for some of the tomatoes associated with the salmonella outbreak. The agency has been able to trace the pathway of some tomatoes from the point of purchase (e.g. supermarket) or consumption (e.g. restaurant) to each point on the distribution chain down to certain farms in Mexico and Florida.

The FDA is now working to narrow the investigation. As part of this, the agency is sending teams of multi-disciplinary experts to both Mexico and Florida this weekend to conduct joint inspections of the farms and other critical points on the supply chain where the tomatoes may have become contaminated.

The FDA investigators will conduct joint inspections with regulators in Mexico and Florida at the farms and other distribution points. Meanwhile, the FDA will continue to collect samples of tomatoes and conduct traceback activities. To further narrow the investigation, the FDA is working with the state of Texas to traceback a cluster of illnesses recently found by the state of Texas. We are hopeful that this will provide additional information to bring the agency closer to the source of the contamination.

The FDA is working jointly with Mexico and Florida and other states to update the list of areas not associated with the outbreak and will continue to post the information on the web site.
Raw red plum, red Roma, and red round tomatoes, harvested from one of the sources that FDA has identified below are NOT associated with the outbreak and are acceptable to eat. Cherry tomatoes, grape tomatoes, tomatoes sold with the vine still attached, from all sources, and tomatoes grown at home are also not linked to the outbreak and can be eaten.

Update on the Outbreak

June 23, 2008: At this time, FDA recommends consuming raw red plum, raw red Roma, or raw red round tomatoes only if grown and harvested from the following areas that

HAVE NOT BEEN ASSOCIATED WITH THE OUTBREAK:

States:

Alabama
Alaska
Arkansas
California
Colorado
Connecticut
Delaware
Georgia
Hawaii
Illinois
Indiana
Iowa
Kansas
Kentucky
Louisiana
Maine
Maryland
Massachusetts
Michigan
Minnesota
Mississippi
Missouri
Nebraska
New Hampshire
New Jersey
New Mexico
New York
North Carolina
Ohio
Oklahoma
Pennsylvania
South Carolina
Tennessee
Texas
Utah
Vermont
Virginia
Washington
West Virginia
Wisconsin

Other countries not associated with outbreak from which we import tomato based products:

Belgium
Canada
Dominican Republic
Guatemala
Israel
Netherlands
Puerto Rico

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Basically parts of Mexico and Florida were the one's implicated, so if you avoid those you'll be fine.