If experience from other outbreaks holds true, the more than 200 people sickened during this month’s salmonella outbreak shouldn’t hold their breath waiting for the original source of the contamination to be pinpointed theorizes Christopher Snowbeck in a report for the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

Past experience with salmonella outbreaks indicates that the original source of the outbreak may not be pinpointed by investigators.  Two years ago contaminated Roma tomatoes in central Florida restaurants sickened people and the tomatoes were traced back to a company that diced the tomatoes but evidence of salmonella was never discovered at the plant.

Two years later, health department officials still can’t say whether contamination occurred at that company’s facility, on the tomato farm or at some point in between. It’s a conclusion not unlike the one reached after last year’s hepatitis A outbreak here, which found circumstantial evidence of problems at four farms in Mexico.