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5:00 salmonella horror

More good news on the Salmonella front:

As salmonella cases continue to climb, the government is checking if tainted tomatoes really are to blame for the record outbreak — or if the problem is with another ingredient, or a warehouse that is contaminating newly harvested tomatoes.

The widening outbreak — with 810 people confirmed ill — means whatever is making people sick could very well still be on the market, federal health officials warned on Friday.

A Friday warning, eh? Now we know it's serious:

However, he said it is possible that tomatoes being harvested in states considered safe could be picking up salmonella germs in packing sheds, warehouses or other facilities currently under investigation.

Most worrisome, the latest victim became sick on June 15 — long after the outbreak began on April 10 and weeks after government warnings stripped supermarkets and restaurants of many tomatoes.

"The source of contamination has been ongoing at least through early June. And we don't have any evidence that whatever the source is, it's been removed from the market," said Dr. Patricia Griffin of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

And now comes the most ridiculous part of the way this story keeps being covered:

For now, the FDA continues to urge consumers nationwide to avoid raw red plum, red Roma or red round tomatoes unless they were grown in specific states or countries that FDA has cleared of suspicion. Check FDA's Web site — http://www.fda.gov — for an updated list. Also safe are grape tomatoes, cherry tomatoes and tomatoes sold with the vine still attached.

Or -- and I know how ridiculous this seems -- you could buy locally, or even eat tomatoes you grew in your own garden.

Assuming you're not in Zone 5, at least.

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tnjen's picture
Submitted by tnjen on

...to Grainger County Tomatoes! If you've never heard of them, well, they are the Vidalia Onion of tomatoes. I'm actually glad they haven't gone too commercial because that would probably ruin them. They are grown less than 5 miles from where I currently live. They are ugly, blood red when ripe, and delicious. Come to think of it, they are the reason I've never been able to eat tomatoes at restaurants or from grocery stores. I've had access to them all my life and those perfectly round tomato-looking things they sell in stores have never tasted good to me.

Just for the record: a real tomato should look like a sea urchin or star fish blob thing and not taste like water! Another good indicator is whether or not you buckle your knees in pleasure once you bite into it. :)

Ok so maybe I've got some regional pride on this issue... but they're damn good tomatoes.

cenobite's picture
Submitted by cenobite on

We lived in Fresno, CA for a time.

Fresno is in the central valley, and is about as hot as the devil's skillet in the summer. Great tomato country. My dad used to stop at the farmers' roadside stands on the way home from work and buy their tomatoes that were too ripe to sell. He'd pay a pittance for a flat of tomatoes that were so ripe they were bursting open. We'd grab a salt shaker and sit on garage step and eat 'em like apples.

Fredster's picture
Submitted by Fredster on

Having lived in SE Louisiana for the better part of 30 years I've found nothing that compared with Creole tomatoes. They are juicy without being squishy. They have somewhat of a tart taste to them; a bite.

I love them fried and green, on a sandwich, stuffed with boiled shrimp and plain, just washed off and add a tad of salt.

http://blog.nola.com/festivals/2008/06/c...

They don't travel well. My understanding is that it's something in the soil that gives them their taste.