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Drew Dixon
Drew Dixon
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Red Tomatoes May Contain Salmonella

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Image:Tomatoes-on-the-bush.jpg

The Food and Drug Administration released an alert earlier this week warning consumers in New Mexico (thanks, Mike) and Texas that a Salmonella outbreak may be related to the consumption of certain types of raw red tomatoes and products containing raw red tomatoes. The bacteria, Salmonella serotype Saintpaul, is an uncommon type of Salmonella.

Although the FDA will continue to investigate the specific type and source of the tomatoes, preliminary data suggests that raw red plum, red Roma, or round red tomatoes may be the cause of the outbreak. Tomatoes which have not been implicated and continue to be ok to eat are cherry tomatoes, grape tomatoes, tomatoes sold with vines still attached, and tomatoes grown at home.

Salmonellae are frequent causes of food borne illness, especially from poultry and raw eggs and more generally from food that has been cooked or frozen and not eaten straight away. Although most non-typhoidal strains associated with food-borne infection are self-limiting and do not require antibiotics, complicated or systemic infection and infection with specific serovars are indications for antibiotic treatment and often hospitalization.

More Information on safe handling of produce can be found at w.cfsan.fda.gov/~dms/prodsafe.html.

IMAGE SOURCE: Wikimedia Commons