The Food and Drug Administration is alerting consumers in New Mexico and Texas that a salmonella outbreak is linked to raw red plum, red Roma, or round red tomatoes. This problem seems to be associated only with states in the Southwest, but has raised food concerns throughout the world as tomato season comes full bloom.
The tomatoes in question are associated with 57 cases of salmonella (17 have been hospitalized). On June 3rd, the FDA announced their warning. The story hit Good Morning America today (a little late, don’t you think?)
According to the FDA,
“Salmonella can cause serious and sometimes fatal infections particularly in young children, frail or elderly people, and those with weakened immune systems. Healthy persons often experience fever, diarrhea (which may be bloody), nausea, vomiting, and abdominal pain.”
Apparently, these suspect tomatoes actually came from Mexico, and are not the fault of U.S. produce industry.
However, according to Marion Nestle’s What to Eat blog, the FDA created a “tomato safety initiative” in 2007 which is voluntary for growers in U.S. and Mexico. Nestle is calling for a mandatory initiative, based upon globalization and food safety risks.
I’d venture to say that Nestle is on to something here.
Also, just as a tip, always wash your produce before you eat it. You never know where it’s been and who has touched it before you.