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2NJSons_Mom
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« on: June 09, 2008, 02:17:16 PM »

http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20080609/us_nm/mcdonalds_tomatoes_dc

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 McDonald's pulls tomatoes from U.S. sandwiches By Lisa Baertlein
7 minutes ago
 


LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - McDonald's Corp said on Monday it has temporarily stopped serving sliced tomatoes on its sandwiches in the United States as health officials work to pinpoint the source of a Salmonella outbreak.

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"This is a precautionary measure only. McDonald's has not experienced any related issues to date," the company said in a statement.

The move from the world's largest restaurant chain came after the U.S. Food and Drug Administration warned U.S. consumers on Saturday that the Salmonella outbreak was linked to the consumption of certain raw red plum, red Roma, and red round tomatoes, and products containing these tomatoes.

On Saturday, FDA said there had been 145 reported nationwide cases, including at least 23 hospitalizations, related to the outbreak. The infections were caused by Salmonella Saintpaul, an uncommon type of the bacteria.

Salmonella bacteria are frequently responsible for food-borne illnesses. Symptoms generally appear within 12 to 72 hours after eating infected food and include fever, diarrhea, nausea, vomiting and abdominal pain.

Infants, the elderly and those with weakened immune systems are more likely than others to develop severe illness, which can be deadly unless treated with antibiotics.

The FDA has said that it is safe to eat cherry tomatoes, grape tomatoes and tomatoes sold with the vine still attached, or tomatoes grown at home.

McDonald's said it will continue to serve grape tomatoes in our its premium salads.

Earlier on Monday, grocer Winn Dixie Stores Inc said it had stopped selling tomatoes that the FDA warned should not be consumed.

FDA has published a list of tomato producers whose product is not associated with the outbreak. It is available at http://www.fda.gov/oc/opacom/hottopics/tomatoes.html#retailers.

(Reporting by Lisa Baertlein; editing by John Wallace, Richard Chang)


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« Reply #1 on: June 09, 2008, 02:21:06 PM »

I'm sorry I didn't clean up all of the unnecessary text on the previous post...here is the cdc info:

http://www.cdc.gov/salmonella/saintpaul/

Investigation of Outbreak of Infections Caused by Salmonella Saintpaul
States with persons with the outbreak strain of Salmonella Saintpaul, by state of residence and onset of illness, April to June 2008.
 
Click map to view a larger image.
Information updated June 7, 2008

Click Here for Advice to Consumers

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 conducted by the New Mexico and Texas Departments of Health and the Indian Health Service using interviews comparing foods eaten by ill and well persons has identified consumption of raw tomatoes as the likely source of the illnesses in those states. The specific type and source of tomatoes is under investigation; however, the data suggest that large tomatoes, including Roma and round red, are the source.

Since mid-April, 145 persons infected with Salmonella Saintpaul with the same genetic fingerprint have been identified in 16 states: Arizona (12 persons), California (1), Colorado (1), Connecticut (1), Idaho (2), Illinois (17), Indiana (1), Kansas (3), New Mexico (39), Oklahoma (3), Oregon (2), Texas (56 persons), Utah (1), Virginia (2), Washington (1), and Wisconsin (3). These were identified because clinical laboratories in all states send Salmonella strains from ill persons to their State public health laboratory for characterization. Among the 73 persons who have been interviewed, illnesses began between April 16 and May 27, 2008. Patients range in age from 1 to 82 years; 49% are female. At least 23 persons were hospitalized. No deaths have been reported.

Only 3 persons infected with this strain of Salmonella Saintpaul were identified in the country during the same period in 2007. The previous rarity of this strain and the distribution of illnesses in all U.S. regions suggest that the implicated tomatoes are distributed throughout much of the country. Because of inherent delays in reporting and because many persons with Salmonella illness do not have a stool specimen tested, it is likely many more illnesses have occurred than those reported. Some of these unreported illnesses may be in states that are not on today’s map.

Clinical features of Salmonella Infection
Most persons infected with Salmonella develop 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. Infants, elderly persons, and those with impaired immune systems are more likely than others to develop severe illness. When severe infection occurs, Salmonella may spread from the intestines to the bloodstream and then to other body sites, and can cause death. In these severe cases, antibiotic treatment may be necessary.

Advice to consumers
At this time, FDA is advising U.S. consumers to limit their tomato consumption to those that are not the likely source of this outbreak. These include cherry tomatoes; grape tomatoes; tomatoes sold with the vine still attached; tomatoes grown at home; and raw red Roma, red plum, and round red tomatoes from specific sources listed at: http://www.fda.gov/oc/opacom/hottopics/tomatoes.html*. Consumers should be aware that raw tomatoes are often used in the preparation of fresh salsa, guacamole, and pico de gallo, are part of fillings for tortillas, and are used in many other dishes.

Customers everywhere are advised to:

Refrigerate within 2 hours or discard cut, peeled, or cooked tomatoes.
Avoid purchasing bruised or damaged tomatoes and discard any that appear spoiled.
Thoroughly wash all tomatoes under running water.
Keep tomatoes that will be consumed raw separate from raw meats, raw seafood, and raw produce items.
Wash cutting boards, dishes, utensils, and counter tops with hot water and soap when switching between types of food products.
FDA recommends that U.S. retail outlets, restaurants, and food service operators offer only fresh and fresh cut red Roma, red plum, and round red tomatoes and food products made from these tomatoes from specific sources listed at: http://www.fda.gov/oc/opacom/hottopics/tomatoes.html#retailers*. Cherry tomatoes, grape tomatoes, and tomatoes sold with the vine still attached from any source may be offered.

FDA information on this investigation can be found at: http://www.fda.gov/oc/opacom/hottopics/tomatoes.html*

More information about Salmonella and this investigation can be found at:

Salmonella FAQs
New Mexico Department of Health Announces Link Between Tomatoes, Salmonella  (PDF – 191 KB)
ADHS News Release - Tomatoes: Caution Urged*
Texas Department of State Health Services - News Update, June 7, 2008*
Kansas Identifies 3 Cases Linked to Multi-State Salmonella Outbreak*
Information on the safe handling of produce can be found at: www.cfsan.fda.gov/~dms/prodsafe.html.*

Previous Updates on this Outbreak
June 5, 2007
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I expect a miracle _Peaches ~ ~ May She Rest In Peace.

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None of us here just fell off the turnip truck. - Magnolia
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« Reply #2 on: June 09, 2008, 06:09:47 PM »

The state of Texas, where I live has had a number of people ill from salmonella that's been linked to tomatoes.  A good alternative to include lycopene in your diet is to have watermelon.  It has even more lycopene then tomatoes.  There are a number of health benefits:


Watermelon Packs a Powerful Lycopene Punch
http://www.ars.usda.gov/is/AR/archive/jun02/lyco0602.htm

Of course, this is probably true until watermelon ends up on a recall/do not eat list...

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« Reply #3 on: June 13, 2008, 10:13:26 PM »

Dear 2NJSons_Mom,

Thank you for posting all the pertinent information. I'm not eating any type of tomatoes at the moment.
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« Reply #4 on: June 13, 2008, 10:15:57 PM »

Thank you, dear MuffyBee,

I just bought a big round seedless watermelon for 3$ from the Armenian produce truck that comes by everyday in the evening.
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« Reply #5 on: June 14, 2008, 01:06:34 AM »

Thank you, dear MuffyBee,

I just bought a big round seedless watermelon for 3$ from the Armenian produce truck that comes by everyday in the evening.

Hi Louise, it's always good to "see" you!  Sounds like you got a real deal on the watermelon.  The ones around here are $5 to $6 and not necessarily seedless.  The "personal" watermelons are $3, which are about the size of a large grapefruit.  I bought a juicer and have been experimenting with making different juices and thought about making watermelon juice as my dh suggested  but I think watermelon is perfect just the way it is. If I juiced the melon, I wouldn't get the benefit of the fiber.  I hope there are no recalls on watermelons. 
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« Reply #6 on: June 14, 2008, 08:32:23 PM »

Dear Muffy,

This is somewhat off topic. I live in an Armenian neighborhood in Hollywood. It is like the old world. Two produce vans come every day to my neighborhood. The men get up at 4 a.m. and go to the produce market in downtown Los Angeles. They make their deals and drive to various neighborhoods with the produce they bought. They speak Armenian, Russian, Spanish and English. Often I see 20 boxes of tangerines and 30 round watermelons, etc. The vans have lots of other produce, as well as fresh eggs. It's very convenient to have the vans come around so I can get fresh stuff, as well as things I forgot to buy at the store. The $3 watermelon was enormous. Do you want to come over and help me finish it off?
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« Reply #7 on: June 15, 2008, 04:38:36 PM »

   Thank you Louise, for offering to share your seedless melon with me.    You are very kind to offer, but due to logistics I must sadly decline.   
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« Reply #8 on: June 27, 2008, 06:36:33 PM »

US checks if tomatoes caused Salmonella outbreak By LAURAN NEERGAARD, AP Medical Writer
 23 minutes ago
 


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.

The widening outbreak — with 810 people confirmed ill — means whatever is making people sick could very well still be on the market, federal health officials warned on Friday.

Tomatoes remain the top suspect and the advice on which ones consumers should avoid hasn't changed, stressed Food and Drug Administration food safety chief Dr. David Acheson.

However, he said it is possible that tomatoes being harvested in states considered safe could be picking up salmonella germs in packing sheds, warehouses or other facilities currently under investigation.

Most worrisome, the latest victim became sick on June 15 — long after the outbreak began on April 10 and weeks after government warnings stripped supermarkets and restaurants of many tomatoes.

"The source of contamination has been ongoing at least through early June. And we don't have any evidence that whatever the source is, it's been removed from the market," said Dr. Patricia Griffin of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Disease detectives at the CDC in Atlanta are double-checking their own probes just in case some other type of produce is really the culprit.

"We have also kept an open mind about other possibilities and are looking into other ingredients," Griffin said.

She wouldn't identify other potential suspects, except to say that from the beginning some patients have told the CDC they ate raw tomatoes in fresh salsa and guacamole. Officials have previously cleared jarred salsas.

For now, the FDA continues to urge consumers nationwide to avoid raw red plum, red Roma or red round tomatoes unless they were grown in specific states or countries that FDA has cleared of suspicion. Check FDA's Web site — http://www.fda.gov — for an updated list. Also safe are grape tomatoes, cherry tomatoes and tomatoes sold with the vine still attached.

But FDA's Acheson made clear that consumers should stay tuned in case that advice changes.

"The facts keep changing here. The outbreak is continuing," he said. "We need to re-examine all parts of this system and make sure that the consumer message is still solid."

FDA inspectors spent the last week chasing the best clues to date in the CSI-like hunt for the outbreak's source — but leads are growing cold.

Inspectors tested for traces of salmonella on farms in southern and central Florida and in three Mexican states, farms suspected to have harvested at least some of the tomatoes involved in the outbreak's earliest weeks. They also are following the path tomatoes took from those farms to packing houses and other distribution stops, testing water supplies and equipment along the way.

So far, "every single one" of 1,700 samples, mostly from farms, has been salmonella-free, a frustrated Acheson said Friday. Hundreds of other samples are still being tested.

Salmonella bacteria live in the intestinal tracts of people and animals. Food outbreaks typically are caused by direct contamination with animal feces or use of contaminated water on foods eaten raw or not fully cooked.

Fever, diarrhea and abdominal cramps typically start eight to 48 hours after infection and can last a week. Many people recover without treatment. In fact, the CDC estimates that for every confirmed salmonella patient, there can be 30 to 40 others who didn't see a doctor or weren't tested — although fewer are uncounted during headline-grabbing outbreaks.

But severe infection and death are possible. At least 95 people have been hospitalized in the current outbreak, and salmonella may have contributed to one person's death from cancer.

The outbreak's sheer scope — with illnesses being reported in 36 states and Washington, D.C. — and length make it unlikely that a single farm will be the culprit, Acheson acknowledged Friday.

That in turn points more suspicion at warehouses and other points in a tomato's path from farm to sale where bushels, even tons, may be repacked, or rewashed, or otherwise processed. Acheson said the investigation's big surprise is how many times tomatoes are repacked, as suppliers hand-pick their way through boxes to meet individual customers' demands for, say, small ripe tomatoes or larger greener ones.

And therein is a key problem: Some of the packing houses that handled suspect tomatoes from Florida and Mexico may now be handling freshly harvested tomatoes, Acheson said. FDA inspectors are hunting contamination in some of those packing houses now.

"Clearly the message is, we need to be looking at all possibilities," he said. "We need to re-examine all the information."

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20080627/ap_on_he_me/med_salmonella_tomatoes
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R.I.P Dear 2NJ - say hi to Peaches for us!

I expect a miracle _Peaches ~ ~ May She Rest In Peace.

SOMEONE KNOWS THE TRUTH  

None of us here just fell off the turnip truck. - Magnolia
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