Jul 30, 2004 9:33 am US/Eastern
Pittsburgh (AP) Pennsylvania health officials say they’ve identified a second strain of salmonella bacteria linked to people sickened by eating tomatoes on Sheetz convenience store sandwiches.
Some 295 people were sickened by a strain of bacteria known as Javiana, even though lab tests turned up none of that strain on food samples taken from Sheets stores where the sick people ate.
The West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources says at least 30 cases of salmonella have been linked to Roma tomatoes supplied to Sheetz stores by Wheeling, West Virginia-based Coronet Foods.
West Virginia’s Barbour County had 12 cases, the remaining were reported in nine other counties, the agency said.
Tests conducted last week found a second strain — known as Anatum — in an unopened bag of tomatoes at a Sheetz store. At that time, health officials dismissed the discovery because none of the victims was sickened by that strain.
Since then, three people have turned up ill with that bacteria.
Health officials say there is no cause for alarm because, no matter which strain of bacteria was involved, everybody who is known to be sick got ill in the first week of July.