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Tainted Tomatoes Now in 30 States: Are You Avoiding Them?

Unfortunately, the salmonella tainted tomato problem is growing, and reported cases have been found in 30 states now, including Pennsylvania and New Hampshire. Six cases have been reported from New York City raising the total number of confirmed cases to 383, and counting. Forty-eight people have been hospitalized after eating these unsafe veggies, and now the FDA is saying it may be "impossible to trace the ultimate source of the tainted tomatoes." That's not very comforting, is it? The tracking difficulties stem from the fact that tomatoes are often sold without tags. Also, by the time people become symptomatic, there's rarely a tainted tomato left to test. Since they were the main supplies of tomatoes when the salmonella outbreak began, Mexico and Florida remain top on the list of possible sources of contaminated produce. Still plugging along in their investigation, the FDA has asked Mexican health authorities to test for cases of this exact strain of salmonella.

For now, it's best to continue avoiding raw red plum, red Roma, or red round tomatoes unless they were grown in specific states or countries that FDA has deemed safe (check this list). Also, all grape tomatoes, cherry tomatoes, tomatoes sold with the vine still attached, and home-grown tomatoes are still considered safe to eat. Tomatoes are supposed to hit stores and restaurants soon, but now I'm a little leery about eating any until this matter is cleared up.

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