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Thursday, July 10, 2008

FDA Updates Salmonella Outbreak Beyond Tomatoes, Raw Jalapeno And Serrano Peppers May Be Linked.

FDA is updating its warning to consumers nationwide concerning the outbreak of Salmonella serotype Saintpaul.

Although epidemiological and other evidence continues to have a strong association with certain raw tomatoes, a recent case control study and disease cluster information provided by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) indicate that not only tomatoes, but also raw jalapeno and serrano peppers may be linked to illnesses in this continuing outbreak.

At this time, the FDA is advising people in high risk populations such as elderly persons, infants and people with impaired immune systems to avoid eating raw jalapeno and raw serrano peppers.

In addition, the FDA continues to advise consumers to avoid eating raw red plum, red Roma, or red round tomatoes except for those grown in the areas listed below. Tomatoes grown in those areas have not been associated with the outbreak.

Consumers who are unsure of the origin of the tomatoes in their home should contact the store or place of purchase. If consumers are unable to determine the source of the tomatoes, they should not eat them. Types of tomatoes not associated with this outbreak include cherry tomatoes, grape tomatoes, tomatoes sold with the vine still attached, and tomatoes grown at home.

Update on the Outbreak

July 9, 2008: At this time, FDA recommends consuming raw red plum, raw red Roma, or raw red round tomatoes only if grown and harvested from the following areas that HAVE NOT BEEN ASSOCIATED WITH THE OUTBREAK:

  • Alabama
  • Alaska
  • Arkansas
  • California
  • Colorado
  • Connecticut
  • Delaware
  • Florida (counties of: Jackson, Gadsden, Leon, Jefferson, Madison, Suwannee, Hamilton, Hillsborough, Polk, Manatee, Hardee, DeSoto, Sarasota, Highlands, Pasco, Sumter, Citrus, Hernando, Charlotte)*
  • Georgia
  • Hawaii
  • Idaho New!
  • Illinois
  • Indiana
  • Iowa
  • Kansas
  • Kentucky
  • Louisiana
  • Maine
  • Maryland
  • Massachusetts
  • Michigan
  • Minnesota
  • Mississippi
  • Missouri
  • Nebraska
  • Nevada
  • New Hampshire
  • New Jersey
  • New Mexico
  • New York
  • North Carolina
  • Ohio
  • Oklahoma
  • Pennsylvania
  • Rhode Island New!
  • South Carolina
  • Tennessee
  • Texas
  • Utah
  • Vermont
  • Virginia
  • Washington
  • West Virginia
  • Wisconsin
  • Belgium
  • Canada
  • Dominican Republic
  • Guatemala
  • Israel
  • Mexican States (Aguascalientes, Baja California Norte, Baja California Sur, Campeche, Colima, Chiapas, Chihuahua, Distrito Federal, Durango, Guanajuato, Guerrero, Hidalgo, México, Michoacán, Morelos, Nayarit, Nuevo León, Oaxaca, Puebla, Querétaro, Quintana Roo, San Luis Potosí, Sonora, Tobasco, Tamaulipas, Tlaxcala, Veracruz, Yucatán, Zacatecas)
  • Netherlands
  • Puerto Rico

* Shipments of tomatoes harvested in these counties are acceptable with a certificate issued by the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services.

Since April, 1017 persons infected with Salmonella Saintpaul with the same genetic fingerprint have been identified in 41 states, the District of Columbia, and Canada.