As I said to the Baltimore Sun about the confusion between tomatoes and Jalapenos:
"I’ve never seen a situation like this," William Marler, a Seattle lawyer who litigates food-borne illness claims, said in a recent interview. A mistaken focus on tomatoes would be a "black eye" for investigators, he said, while acknowledging that produce investigations are difficult.
More than 1,000 people have gotten sick from salmonella initially linked to raw tomatoes. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention today also implicated some types of hot peppers. Certain raw tomatoes — red round, plum and Roma — remain a chief suspect. The FDA says people should avoid those tomatoes unless they were harvested in areas cleared of suspicion. But people at highest risk of severe illness from salmonella also should not eat raw jalapeno and serrano peppers. The feds say two deaths are associated with the outbreak — a Texas man in his 80s, and another Texas man who died of cancer, but for whom salmonella may have played a role. At least 203 people have been hospitalized.
As I said to CNN:
Bill Marler, food safety attorney: "It’s possible that the CDC got this one wrong. But had they continued to wait, and wait, and wait until the data was perfect, we then would be criticizing them for letting ill people stack up."
Since April, 1017 persons infected with Salmonella Saintpaul with the same genetic fingerprint have been identified in 41 states, the District of Columbia, and Canada. The number of ill persons identified in each state is as follows: Alabama (2 persons), Arkansas (14), Arizona (49), California (9), Colorado (13), Connecticut (4), Florida (2), Georgia (24), Idaho (4), Illinois (100), Indiana (14), Iowa (2), Kansas (17), Kentucky (1), Louisiana (1), Maine (1), Maryland (29), Massachusetts (25), Michigan (8), Minnesota (15), Missouri (12), New Hampshire (4), Nevada (11), New Jersey (9), New Mexico (98), New York (28), North Carolina (10), Ohio (8), Oklahoma (24), Oregon (10), Pennsylvania (11), Rhode Island (3), South Carolina (2), Tennessee (8), Texas (384), Utah (2), Virginia (29), Vermont (2), Washington (11), West Virginia (1), Wisconsin (11), and the District of Columbia (1). Four ill persons are reported from Canada; three appear to have been infected while traveling in the United States, and one illness remains under investigation.