Efoodalert blogger Phyllis Entis, blogged today that Kentucky has been added to the torrent of tainted-tomatoes. It is now 229 people infected with genetically matching strains of Salmonella Saintpaul have been identified in 24 states since mid-April. Other states include: Arizona (19 people), California (2), Colorado (1), Connecticut (1), Florida (1), Georgia (1), Idaho (3), Illinois (29), Indiana (7), Kansas (5), Kentucky (1), Michigan (2), Missouri (2), New Mexico (55), New York (1), Oklahoma (3), Oregon (3), Tennessee (3), Texas (68), Utah (2), Virginia (9), Vermont (1), Washington (1), and Wisconsin (3).
According to the CDC, salmonella infections are relatively common, generally resulting in diarrhea, fever and abdominal cramps 12–72 hours after infection. Infection is usually diagnosed by culture of a stool sample. The illness usually lasts 4-7 days. Although most people recover without treatment, severe infections may occur.
The FDA recommends consuming raw red plum, raw red Roma, or raw red round tomatoes only if grown and harvested in certain states, EXCLUDING central and south Florida and Mexico.
As I said to the LA Times:
"This happens every time," said Seattle, Washington, attorney and food safety expert William D. Marler. "We’ve not gotten any better at surveillance of this stuff, though we’ve got the technology and should be able to figure out outbreaks pretty quick, not a month-and-a-half into it. And not figuring out whether it started from Florida or Mexico – that’s absurd."