Friday, 18 July 2008

U.S. food agency lifts Salmonella warning on tomatoes

Tomatoes sold in the United States are safe to eat again, the Food and Drug Administration said Thursday, lifting a warning about the risk of salmonella contamination.
It is "highly unlikely" that raw tomatoes implicated in the outbreak of salmonella are still on the market, said David Acheson, associate commissioner for foods at the agency.
The illness has infected at least 1,220 people since mid-April, including 224 who required hospitalization.
While tomatoes from Florida and Mexico may have caused illnesses, the agency is shifting its focus to jalapeño and serrano peppers that also appear to have contributed to some recent infections and may still be on the market, Acheson said. Investigators are being sent to a packing facility in Mexico that handles both types of peppers.
"This is not saying that anybody was absolved," Acheson said. "What we're saying right now is informing consumers that tomatoes that are currently in stores and coming on to the market - domestic and imported - are OK."

The warning not to eat raw plum, Roma or round tomatoes from certain U.S. states was issued June 7 after early reports of illnesses suggested they were to blame. Last week, the food agency extended the warning for people at increased risk of infection to include raw jalapeño and serrano peppers. This group of consumers includes infants, the elderly and people with compromised immune systems.

No comments: