Feds say tomatoes not cleared, but OK to eat, watch out for peppers and cilantro
July 18, 2008
The tomato/pepper/cilantro fiasco goes on. More people sick, harvests destroyed, farmers ruined, $100 million down the drain, and still no answers as to why over 1,220 people have contracted a food borne illness that up until now was extremely rare.
Late yesterday, in what could be the ultimate flip-flop, the FDA announced that tomatoes are ok to eat. Sort of. They say it doesn’t mean that tomatoes harvested in the spring are cleared (try guessing which ones those are). It just means that the tomatoes in fields and stores today are safe to eat, said Dr. David Acheson, the Food and Drug Administration’s food safety chief.
The source of the outbreak of salmonella still isn’t known. The latest suspect is jalapeno peppers. Also still on the suspect list is fresh cilantro.
Thursday’s move to attempt to create some perception that the problem has been resolved, comes as the tomato industry estimates its losses at more than $100 million,