Tomatoes and Salmonella Outbreak

Tomatoes and Salmonella Outbreak

Consumers are advised to avoid eating or handling raw red plum, raw red Roma, raw round red tomatoes, and any products containing these raw tomatoes UNLESS they are from certain regions.

By: Dr. Stephen Sundlof, Director of the Food and Drug Administration’s Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition.

  • FDA is warning consumers nationwide that an outbreak of Salmonella has been linked to consuming certain types of raw tomatoes grown and harvested in certain geographic areas. Salmonella can cause serious and sometimes fatal infections in young children, frail or elderly people, and people with weakened immune systems.
  • FDA recommends that consumers avoid eating or handling raw red plum, raw red Roma, raw round red tomatoes, and any products containing these raw tomatoes UNLESS they are from certain regions. These regions are listed on FDA’s Web site, www.fda.g-o-v, and are ruled out as the sources of the Salmonella contamination.
  • There are some types of tomatoes that are NOT linked to the outbreak. FDA recommends that consumers continue to eat:
    • cherry tomatoes
    • grape tomatoes
    • tomatoes sold with the vine still attached
    • home-grown tomatoes, and
    • any processed or canned products made from any kind of tomatoes.
  • If you buy tomatoes advertised as “locally grown,” you should contact the store to confirm that they were grown in a region that has not been associated with the Salmonella outbreak.
  • If you have tomatoes in your home and are unsure where the tomatoes were grown or harvested, you should also contact the store where you bought the tomatoes for that information.
  • If you cannot find out the source of the tomatoes, you should not eat them.
  • If you have any tomatoes that may be contaminated, you should throw them out.
    • Do NOT try to wash them.
    • Do NOT try to cook any tomatoes in an effort to kill the Salmonella
  • Handling contaminated tomatoes can spread the Salmonella to anything the handler touches, such as hands, kitchen utensils, cutting boards, sinks, and other foods.
  • FDA is working around the clock to find the source of the Salmonella in tomatoes, and will continue to update consumers as more information becomes available.

Note: Updates on tomatoes are ongoing. For the latest please visit: Salmonellosis Outbreak Linked to Certain Types of Tomatoes

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