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FDA expands its raw tomato warning to nationwide

Submitted by on Sunday, 8 June 2008 No Comment

You say to-MAY-to, I say to-MAH-to, the government says watch which ones you eat.

The Food and Drug Administration today broadened its raw tomato warning to cover the entire country — it originally was issued Tuesday for consumers in Texas and New Mexico.

The reason: An outbreak of salmonella found in some red plum, red Roma, and red round tomatoes, and products containing these raw, red tomatoes. It’s been going on since April and has made at least 145 people sick and sent 23 to the hospital.

Whether the tomatoes are a threat depends on where they were grown, and the FDA believes produce from Arkansas, California, Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Belgium, Canada, the Dominican Republic, Guatemala, Israel, the Netherlands and Puerto Rico are safe.

Cherry tomatoes, grape tomatoes, tomatoes sold with the vine still attached and homegrown tomatoes are safe regardless of where they’re from, the FDA says.

It makes me regret not giving in to Big Guy’s pleas a few weeks back to plant tomatoes.

Wait a minute. I forgot. I hate tomatoes.

Except in salsa. Or marinara. Or just about any form on Earth other than raw. Go figure. I just never liked the feel of that slime in my mouth. No wonder Big Guy’s a picky eater. Guess the tomato doesn’t fall far from the vine.

I suppose it’s good news for me that the California crop thus far is unscathed — I do like my fresh salsa in the summer. On balance, though, it’s bad news for consumers everywhere, as the supply tightens on yet another dietary staple.

Let’s see, there’s the runaway corn prices and all its accompanying fallout on milk and meat, a worldwide rice shortage, a drought in California. And now this.

What’s left to eat that we can still afford?

Copyright 2008 Debra Legg. All rights reserved.

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