The outbreak of salmonella blamed on tainted
tomatoes is wider than first thought.
Five dozen previously unknown cases have been reported, raising
the tally to 228. And the number of states reporting cases is now
23, with the additions of Florida, Georgia, Missouri, New York,
Tennessee and Vermont.
No deaths are blamed on the outbreak, but health officials say
salmonella may have played a role in the death of a cancer patient
There were seven cases reported in Georgia during the last part of May. Most were in the Atlanta area.
Georgia Agriculture Commissioner Tommy Irvin insisted Friday that Georgia-grown tomatoes are safe. He says any tainted tomatoes couldn't have been grown in Georgia, because nothing was on the market from Georgia growers in late May.
You'll be seeing "Georgia Grown" stickers on boxes of tomatoes shipped by growers in the state. You should also ask anyone selling you tomatoes, in the store or along the road, where the tomatoes come from.
Meanwhile, the Food and Drug Administration is sounding less
optimistic about quickly finding the source of the outbreak.
Officials now say they're not sure how long it will take.
Tomatoes to be avoided include raw red plum, red Roma, or red
round tomatoes -- unless they were grown in specific states or
countries that the FDA has cleared.
Grape tomatoes, cherry tomatoes and tomatoes sold with the vine
still attached are believed to be safe, because none of the sick
say they've eaten any of those.