June 19, 2008

FDA Clears 37 States from Tomato Outbreak

By Janice Wade-Miller, Educational Instructor, Family and Consumer Sciences

Pinellas County Extension, Family and Consumer Sciences want you to be aware of all potential food hazards so that you can make knowledgeable decisions about the food you buy for your family. In an effort to keep you informed, we are releasing the following FDA tomato warning which was made public on Monday, June 9th. Please follow the FDA’s instructions so that you are not affected by this food borne illness.
tomatoThe U.S. F. D. A. added New Mexico, Indiana and one Mexican state, Baja California (Norte)**, to its list of places that are cleared of being the source of an outbreak of salmonella from contaminated tomatoes that has sickened 228 people since April.

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. See previous postings to this blog for those areas.

June 11 post:

June 12 post:

Shipments of tomatoes harvested in the following counties are acceptable with a certificate issued by the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services:

Jackson, Gadsden, Leon, Jefferson, Madison, Suwannee, Hamilton, Hillsborough, Polk, Manatee, Hardee, DeSoto, Sarasota, Highlands, Pasco, Sumter, Citrus, Hernando, Charlotte.
Consumers who are unsure of where the tomatoes are from that they have in their home are encouraged to contact the store or place of purchase for that information. If consumers are unable to determine the source of the tomatoes, they should not be eaten. Consumers should also be aware that raw tomatoes are often used in the preparation of fresh salsa, guacamole, and pico de gallo, are part of fillings for tortillas, and are used in other dishes.
Types of tomatoes not linked to any illnesses are cherry tomatoes, grape tomatoes, and tomatoes with the vine still attached.

Since mid April, there have been 228 reported cases of salmonellosis nationwide caused by Salmonella Saintpaul, an uncommon form of Salmonella. At least 25 hospitalizations have been reported.

If you have any questions or concerns on this issue, please call us at 582-2100 and we will do our best to help you.

** Product lots of tomatoes harvested in this State in Mexico are allowed export into the U.S. with a certificate issued by the Secretaria de Fomento Agropecuario del Gobierno del Estado de Baja California (Agency).

No comments:

Post a Comment