Consumers got an expanded warnings today (06/07/08) from the U.S. Food & Drug Administration NOT to eat Red Plum or Red Roma nor Round Red raw tomatoes.

The expanded warning comes as the Salmonella Saintpaul outbreak blamed on red raw tomatoes spreads to 16 states with at least 145 people sick and 23 in hospitals.

From the official statement:

At this time, FDA is advising consumers to limit their consumption of tomatoes to the following types of tomatoes. The following types of tomatoes listed below are NOT likely to be the source of this outbreak.

  •  cherry tomatoes
  •  grape tomatoes
  •  tomatoes sold with the vine still attached
  •  tomatoes grown at home

FDA has issued a list of states and countries believed not to have grown the bad tomatoes, but there were no additions to it today.

FDA did note the risk consumers take in consuming food containing tomatoes.  FDA says:

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.

Restaurants, grocery stores, and food service operators have been advised by the FDA not to offer for sale or service raw red plum, Roma, or red tomatoes and products made from these types of tomatoes unless they are from one of the areas listed above.

Raul Rivera ate pico de gallo during a family celebration at a Houston area Mexican restaurant. He died and was laid to rest today.   Health officials are investigating whether his death becomes this outbreak’s first fatality.

  • Thanks for keeping up on this and for getting the details out as soon as they release it.

  • Lorena

    Thanks for the update a little late I got sick eating at Freebirds Restaurant in San Antonio. Managers at any Restaurant should Keep informed about all types of Food Safety to ensure the safety of the consumer. Rather than make money and careless if a customer get sick or not. The only way people doe anything is when there is a tragedy or even death to take an approach or have the FDA make soem kind of reienforcement.

  • Andrew P.

    Paul Rivera’s death has now been officially declared to be due to cancer, not the tomatoes he ate.