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.