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Attack of the Killer Tomatoes: Salmonella Outbreak

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Supermarkets, restaurants, and fast-food chains across the Southland are removing three types of tomatoes from their shelves today, in response to a nationwide salmonella outbreak. Almost 145 infections have been reported since mid-April; the FDA is urging consumers to avoid raw red plum, red Roma or round red tomatoes. Cherry, grape, and tomatoes on the vine are still okay to eat. From today's LA Times:

The physician who heads the FDA, Andrew C. von Eschenbach, was scheduled to be at an FDA lab in Irvine today, where he was to make a public statement updating news on the ongoing outbreak of salmonella saintpaul, a rare strain of the salmonella microbe, the agency said Sunday. The agency said last week that it had ruled out tomatoes from many areas, including California, as the source of the salmonella but was still investigating the source of the outbreak.

Outbreaks of infection have been reported in California as well as many other Western states, so consumers in L.A. should be on alert and avoid raw tomatoes for now. Chains such as Chipotle and Taco Bell are pulling tomato products such as salsa from their menus; other restaurants such as El Pollo Loco are still monitoring the situation before making a final decision. Photo by fensterbme via Flickr.