View Mobile Site

Ask the Expert

Signal Photos


Hold the tomato, Jack

Certain varieties hard to find locally due to recent salmonella scare

Posted: June 10, 2008 2:16 a.m.
Updated: August 11, 2008 5:01 a.m.

Ask for tomato on your sandwich at Subway and you'll be offered peppers instead.

On the other hand, go shopping for tomatoes at Ralphs or Whole Foods in Valencia, and you'll find at least some of the juicy red produce, but not all types.

At McDonald's nationwide, you can't get tomato slices on your burger anymore.

Local businesses Monday were complying with a Food and Drug Administration warning to avoid red plum, red Roma and red round tomatoes because they could be contaminated with salmonella bacteria. Other types of tomatoes - specifically, cherry and grape tomatoes and those sold with the vines still attached - were given an FDA clean bill of health.

So were all tomatoes grown in California, along with those harvested from backyard gardens.

"FDA recognizes that the source of the contaminated tomatoes may be limited to a single grower or packer or tomatoes from a specific geographic area," officials said in a statement issued Saturday. And while an investigation continues into contaminated tomatoes, officials are painfully aware that entire fields of tomatoes are ripening and soon will be ready to pick and ship to market.

Some 145 cases of salmonellosis had been reported nationwide since mid-April, including some in California. The infection is particularly dangerous, and occasionally fatal, to young children, frail or elderly people, and those with weakened immune systems.

Symptoms include fever, diarrhea, nausea, vomiting and abdominal pain. All salmonella infections should be reported to state or local health authorities, FDA officials said.

Additional information on the tomato warnings and on safe handling tips for produce are available at and at


Most Popular Articles

There are no articles at this time.
Commenting not available.
Commenting is not available.


Powered By
Morris Technology
Please wait ...