News and insight for North America's fresh produce buyers
Carl Collen


Wednesday 4th June 2008, 18:00 Central Time

Salmonella outbreak linked to tomatoes

USDA warns consumers in New Mexico to avoid eating raw tomatoes

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The US Department of Agrculture has warned consumers in the US state of New Mexico not to eat raw tomatoes after an outbreak of salmonella, linked to the produce, hospitalised 17 people in the region.

According to media reports, 57 cases of salmonellosis have been reported in the state and nearby Texas since the scare began on 23 April.

Although the source of the outbreak has not yet been established, officials believe it is connected to contaminated raw round, red Roma and red plum tomatoes.

In a separate development, a California-based cantaloupe melon exporter that was named in a salmonella health hazard alert by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) has claimed its produce was not contaminated when it left the US.

Fisher Ranch Corp sales manager, Mike Farrage, told The Packer that the melon shipment had passed a USDA inspection before it was sent to Canada.

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