The bacteria causing the illnesses are Salmonella serotype Saintpaul, an uncommon type of Salmonella.
The specific type and source of tomatoes are under investigation.
However, preliminary data suggest that raw red plum, raw red Roma, or raw round red tomatoes are the cause.
At this time, consumers should limit their tomato consumption to tomatoes that have not been implicated in the outbreak.
These include cherry tomatoes, grape tomatoes, tomatoes sold with the vine still attached, and tomatoes grown at home.
The Food and Drug Administration has expanded its warning to consumers nationwide that a salmonellosis outbreak has been linked to consumption of certain raw, red tomatoes.
At this time, FDA is advising consumers to limit their consumption of tomatoes to the following types of tomatoes.
The following types of tomatoes listed below are NOT likely to be the source of this outbreak.
1. Cherry tomatoes
2. Grape tomatoes
3. Tomatoes sold with the vine still attached
4. Tomatoes grown at home
Also, 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:
*(California, Georgia, Hawaii, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Minnesota, Mississippi, New York, Nebraska, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, West Virginia)*
*(Belgium, Canada, Dominican Republic, Guatemala, Israel, Netherlands, Puerto Rico)*
Consumers who are unsure of where the tomatoes are from that they have in their home are encouraged to contact the store or place of purchase for that information.
Consumers should also be aware that raw tomatoes are often used in the preparation of fresh salsa, guacamole, and pico de gallo, are part of fillings for tortillas, and are used in other dishes.
Restaurants, grocery stores, and food service operators have been advised by the FDA not to offer for sale or service raw red plum, Roma, or red tomatoes and products made from these types of tomatoes unless they are from one of the areas listed above.
Since mid April, there have been 167 reported cases of salmonellosis nationwide caused by Salmonella Saintpaul, an uncommon form of Salmonella.
At least 23 hospitalizations have been reported.
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