According to Ms. Murphy, the Food & Drug Administration is now investigating two tomato-related outbreaks, with the latest blamed for nearly 100 illnesses in 19 states. FDA was already tracing tomatoes involved in another outbreak involving 183 people in 21 states. Federal authorities said that fresh tomatoes contaminated with Salmonella typhimurium served in restaurants were the likely cause of that outbreak. I also talked to Ms. Murphy shortly before Thanksgiving about PRIOR OUTBREAKS:
Bill Marler, an attorney with Seattle-based Marler Clark, said that the tomato industry should be more vigilant to prevent contamination on the farm, since it is virtually impossible to clean the fruit once it’s been contaminated. Mr. Marler has settled 149 cases from the 2004 Sheetz Salmonella outbreak tied to Roma tomatoes and is representing 93 victims in the more recent E. coli outbreak traced to contaminated spinach. Since the spinach contamination, the trial attorney said that he has been in high demand for speaking engagements around the country on the topic of produce safety.