From a CDC/FDA Press Conference today:
As salmonella cases continue to climb, the government is checking if tainted tomatoes really are to blame for the record outbreak – or if the problem is with another ingredient, or a warehouse that is contaminating newly harvested tomatoes. Federal health officials say there’s no evidence clearing tomatoes. But inspectors haven’t yet found the outbreak’s source even as cases continue to rise – to 810 confirmed ill. Most worrisome, the latest victim became sick on June 15. Patricia Griffin of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says the agency is looking into other ingredients, just in case tomatoes were not to blame.
CDC is collaborating with public health officials in many states, the Indian Health Service, and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to investigate an ongoing multi-state outbreak of human Salmonella serotype Saintpaul infections. An epidemiologic investigation comparing foods eaten by ill and well persons has identified consumption of raw tomatoes as the likely source of the illnesses. The specific type and source of tomatoes is under investigation; however, the data suggest that illnesses are linked to consumption of raw red plum, red Roma, or round red tomatoes, or any combination of these types of tomatoes, and to products containing these raw tomatoes.
Since April, 810 persons infected with Salmonella Saintpaul with the same genetic fingerprint have been identified in 36 states and the District of Columbia. These were identified because clinical laboratories in all states send Salmonella strains from ill persons to their State public health laboratory for characterization. Maine and Minnesota have been added to the list of states with ill persons. The number of ill persons identified in each state is as follows: Arkansas (10 persons), Arizona (39), California (10), Colorado (8), Connecticut (4), Florida (1), Georgia (18), Idaho (3), Illinois (78), Indiana (11), Kansas (14), Kentucky (1), Maine (1), Maryland (25), Massachusetts (18), Michigan (4), Minnesota (2), Missouri (12), New Hampshire (3), Nevada (4), New Jersey (4), New Mexico (85), New York (25), North Carolina (5), Ohio (6), Oklahoma (19), Oregon (7), Pennsylvania (6), Rhode Island (3), Tennessee (6), Texas (342), Utah (2), Virginia (22), Vermont (1), Washington (4), Wisconsin (6), and the District of Columbia (1).