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Tuesday 1st July 2008, 18:00 Central Time

FDA widens salmonella search

The agency is believed to be looking at other foods as the possible source of the Saintpaul outbreak

FDA widens salmonella search

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The Food and Drug Administration has extended its investigation into the recent outbreak of salmonella Saintpaul beyond tomatoes but is refusing to say which other products may be implicated.

David Acheson, the FDA’s associate commissioner for foods, said it would be “irresponsible” to pinpoint other commodities, but the target of the investigation is believed to be food items that are commonly consumed with tomatoes, such as guacamole.

As of 1 July, the number of cases had risen to 869 across 36 states. More than 100 have been hospitalised. Mr Acheson told The Packer that investigators are “looking at all possible explanations as to why this outbreak is still ongoing and what other foods might be implicated”.

He said that it was possible that a contaminated water source had affected more than one commodity, or that several products had been contaminated by a common shipper or distributor, or that one grower had contaminated multiple crops.

Mr Acheson stressed that the FDA’s advice to consumers to avoid roma or red tomatoes unless they were sourced from approved areas still stands.


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