As the number of reported illnesses linked to salmonella-tainted tomatoes goes up, so does pressure on the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to find the source of this rare strain of bacteria. Since our last report, the number of illnesses has risen to 228 people in 23 states…New cases have been reported in Florida, Georgia, Missouri, New York, Tennessee and Vermont…

Tomato growers in Florida and Mexico, both large suppliers in the U.S., are concerned over lost sales. In Florida, 19 counties are safe to ship their tomatoes again, but top-producing counties, such as Dade and Collier, are still under investigation. State officials said the Florida Agriculture Department has issued certificates verifying the origin of what they estimate as several thousand loads…

While some tomato-producing areas of Mexico have been cleared since they weren’t harvesting when the illnesses were reported, the remainder of the country is still under investigation as a possible source. According to Dr. Acheson, the FDA is “in active dialogue” with Mexican authorities, but “haven’t sent anyone to Mexico because we don’t have a place specifically identified.”

And this is where confidence breaks down. I asked the produce manager at 2 grocery chains, this morning, how long it takes to track down suspicious food. Each confirmed they could nail the source down to the farmer and field within 48 hours.

The Eastern manager for Safeway said the same on network TV, yesterday. Yet, we first covered this food alert 9 days ago – at least a week after people began falling ill.

  1. hhopper says:

    WTF! Doesn’t anyone wash their tomatoes any more? That should solve the problem.

  2. Mister Ketchup says:

    I went out today and shit on some Brussles sprouts, I hate them. The people at the Super Wal-Mart weren’t very happy either.

  3. Mister Mustard says:

    >>I went out today and shit on some Brussles
    >>sprouts, I hate them.

    You should try them sautéed, Watery One. Mmmm-mmmm good!

    It’s no wonder that the international community associated “catsup” with the ugly American.

  4. gregallen says:

    Remember how the Republicans lectures us for DECADES that the least government was the best government.

    Well, I have lived in countries where the government didn’t assure food and water safety.

    Surprise! Everybody was sick, all the time.

    Welcome the Republican’s America. Enjoy being sick.

  5. Mister Ketchup says:

    #24 – I’m not suffering from mental illness, I kind of enjoy it.

  6. OvenMaster says:

    #21: Nope, washing won’t work, just like it didn’t work for the tainted spinach from California a couple of years back. The reason is that the irrigation water for the plants was contaminated with feces, so as the tomato plants grew, the salmonella stayed inside the fruits. The only way to kill the salmonella is to cook these tomatoes thoroughly.