The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced today that at least 183 people in 18 states had been confirmed ill with Salmonellosis as part of a nation-wide outbreak of Salmonella typhimurium infections that has been traced to contaminated tomatoes.

Twenty-two people were hospitalized during the outbreak, which peaked in September and is now over, according to the CDC.

In June and July 2004, over 400 people became ill with Salmonella infections after eating contaminated tomatoes served at Sheetz convenience stores in the Eastern United States.

Bill Marler, a nationally recognized food safety advocate and attorney, called on the tomato industry to “clean up its act and make food safe.”

“This is the second large outbreak in two years that has come on the heels of FDA advice on how to prevent outbreaks among consumers of fresh tomatoes,” Marler said. “Clearly, the fresh tomato industry has not yet done enough to ensure the safety of its product.”