It looks like tomatoes are the latest culprit of a food poisoning scare, as reported yesterday in the Los Angeles Times, linked here in our FYI roundup. In this case, red plum, red roma and red round tomatoes have been found responsible for some 145 cases of salmonella since mid-April, according to the Food and Drug Administration. At least 23 of those resulted in hospitalizations.
Apparently, McDonald’s, Taco Bell, Wal-Mart, Chipotle and Target, among others, are curbing their tomato usage and sales until the thing blows over. Also, according to the Times, supermarket chains Ralphs, Vons and Albertsons have stopped selling the three types of tomatoes on the Food and Drug Administration’s frowny list.
While the FDA hasn’t yet identified the source of the contaminated tomatoes, it has published a list of areas determined not to be the source. If you’re eating tomatoes from Arkansas, California, Georgia, Hawaii, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Belgium, Canada, Dominican Republic, Guatemala, Israel, Netherlands or Puerto Rico, you’re good. They’re also keeping an updated list of this information for your reference.
For now, just be careful when you indulge in these red summer classics. Either figure out where they’re from or make sure they’re not one of the potentially contaminated types. It might be fun to make gazpacho with cherry tomatoes, which are right now on the safe list, or perhaps dice some grape tomatoes onto your burger. There’s something deflating about that, though. Maybe we’ll stick to hot dogs for the near future.
Salmonella outbreak causes tomato recall [LA Times]
FDA Warns Consumers Nationwide Not to Eat Certain Types of Raw Red Tomatoes [FDA]
Advice for Retailers, Restaurateurs and Food Service Operators [FDA]
[Photo: via Jackie-Dee/Flickr]