Saturday, June 28, 2008

Tomatoes May Not Be The Cause Of The Salmonella Outbreak

If not tomatoes, then what?

As the number of cases in an ongoing salmonella outbreak climbed past 800
today, federal health officials said that they might never find the cause -- and
that tomatoes might not be the culprit after all.

Though fresh tomatoes have a "strong association" with many of the cases
and remain a top suspect, health officials have not confirmed that the fruit
carried the rare Salmonella Saintpaul strain.

Of 1,700 domestic and international tomato samples collected so far, none
has tested positive, said David Acheson, associate commissioner for foods with
the Food and Drug Administration.

Officials would not divulge if, or what, other produce was being seriously
investigated, only saying that they would "continue to keep an open mind about
the possible source."

The most recent reported onset of illness was June 15, and for each
reported case there are likely more that have gone undetected, said Dr. Patricia
Griffin, chief of the Enteric Diseases Epidemiology Branch at the Centers for
Disease Control and Prevention.

"Whatever this produce item is . . . it's possibly still out there making
people sick," Griffin said.

The FDA has cleared 41 states, including California, and several Mexican
states and parts of Florida as the growing regions that produced the possibly
tainted tomatoes. But Acheson said the agency was still tracing distribution
chains through areas included on the list.

"The longer this goes on, the less likely it's all originating from a
single farm source," he said.


Anonymous said...

What's causing the "salmonella outbreak?" We'll probably never really know, but in all probability it is illegal alien restaurant workers. Should we even care? Absolutely not. Here's the real deal (minus the media - and apparently the CDC's -hype. There have been 800 cases of this very curable illness in 36 states reported over the last several weeks. This is only a slightly above-normal incidence rate. Salmonella is almost always the result of unsanitary food handling. This case, as in the numerous cases of E. coli over the last few years, is the byproduct of an industrialized food system. When we get back to locally and regionally produced foods, most of these outbreaks will disappear.

Pastorius said...

You say that this is just above the normal incidence rate. Then, could it be possible that this falls within the normal incidence curve (in other words, a normal spike)?

If this is relatively normal, what is bringing about the drastic measures?

At one point, they destroyed all the tomatoes on the market.

And, why would illegal aliens suddenly be carrying more salmonella then previously?

I don't understand. Although, it would make sense to me that we would have a spike which still fit into the normal curve, which would be overreacted to.

What do you think?

I don't buy blaming a spike on illegal aliens. We've always had them.

If there is a sudden and distinguishable spike, then it is coming from one or a few sources.

Doesn't that make sense?

Always On Watch said...

"Whatever this produce item is . . . it's possibly still out there making
people sick," Griffin said.

Well, isn't that just wonderful?

Pastorius said...

I'd be careful who I was calling a "Produce item", if I were that guy.