Attack of the killer tomatoes PDF Print E-mail
Monday, 30 June 2008 09:52

tomatoes.jpgI recently went to my favorite burger joint and ordered a cheeseburger with extra cheese, lettuce, mustard, and tomato.  According to the FDA, the tomatoes in my state are salmonella free and have been re-introduced on many menus.  Well, the server quickly informed me in a manner that suggested he had made this statement at least 1000 times already that day, tomatoes were still not on the menu due to the salmonella outbreak.

Here we are after more than two months with 810 cases of salmonella poisoning reported in 36 states and the FDA still hasn't definitively determined the source of the outbreak.  As recently as June 16th a case has been reported and who knows how many have gone undiagnosed. It's a travesty that after the announcement of the initial outbreak that the FDA focused on where the bacteria wasn't coming from vs. where it was coming from specifically.  Perhaps the FDA was afraid of what it would find, that maybe the infected produce was coming from Mexico or another foreign source.

This is yet another example of the dependence that the U.S. has foreign products.  With crude oil hurtling towards $190 barrel like a sprinter in the upcoming Olympic Games in China, average citizens are finding out more and more the ramifications of these types of policies.  Instances of salmonella and E. coli seem to be happening with increasing frequency and it is ridiculous that we are so quick to move critical food staples to less controlled areas.

Now, the FDA has the audacity to state that perhaps the salmonella outbreak isn't related to tomatoes, but perhaps linked to something else.  Listen everyone, this agency is responsible for the food you and your family eat on a daily basis.  If they are just now getting around to considering other sources, you should demand an explanation.  This again demonstrates the vulnerability to these types of outbreaks be them inadvertent or even more distressing intentional.

Although this situation won't keep me from trying to find a germ-free source of tomatoes, it certainly should give pause to all of us next time we order our favorite sandwich.  Stay healthy and stay germaware.



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Comments (4)add
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written by CrAzY Working Mom , July 01, 2008
Very well said!

http://tishblack.blogspot.com
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written by LuckyGirl , July 02, 2008
The effectiveness of the FDA and the possibility of getting sick from imported items aside, I really think the restaurant industry is taking advantage of the recent tomato scare. In light of rising gas and food prices, not buying tomatoes to put on sandwiches and salads is saving them a few bucks, and of course they aren't discounting the regular menu prices because of it, thereby increasing their profit margins. Sadly, it's all about the money.
http://thepeanutbutterblog.blogspot.com
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written by mikey777 (http://shiftworkersunite.com) , July 03, 2008
I can agree that the FDA is definitely slacking on this one. It didn't take them this long when the last outbreak occurred (E-coli in the spinach) to find the culprit. Seems to me that they are trying to cover something up, or clean up a mistake that they don't want to admit making.

Maybe you're right. Could be that the tomatoes are coming from a foreign grower. The FDA will never admit it though, because the prices are lower and corporate mucky-mucks won't want to shell out more money for locally grown produce of better quality.
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written by Mandy , July 15, 2008
smilies/angry.gif Yet another food that is toxic! I still do not eat fresh bagged spinach or ready made salad in the bag. When are these people going to get their act together? I wonder what the next food outbreak will be???
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Last Updated ( Wednesday, 09 July 2008 11:13 )