What you need to know about tomato safety and the recent salmonellosis outbreak. Plus, more than 30 recipes for safe tomato dishes and tomato-free alternatives.
A recent nationwide outbreak of salmonellosis has been linked to certain raw red tomatoes and products containing them. Although the specifics are still under investigation, here is what you need to know:
The Food & Drug Administration (FDA) is advising that consumers limit their consumption of raw tomatoes to cherry tomatoes, grape tomatoes, tomatoes with the vine still attached and tomatoes grown at home. These tomatoes are not the likely source of this outbreak.
Avoid raw red plum, Roma or round tomatoes if you do not know what state/country they come from, as only tomatoes from certain states/countries are presently associated with the outbreak.
The FDA recommends eating raw red plum, Roma and round tomatoes ONLY only if grown and harvested from the areas that HAVE NOT BEEN ASSOCIATED WITH THE OUTBREAK. Find an updated list of states and countries on the FDA's website.
As of June 11, 2009, the source of contamination is not confirmed.
As for farmers' markets, some farmers' markets get their tomatoes from sources other than local farms. These other sources may include the same ones that provided the tomatoes implicated in the Salmonella outbreak. At this time, buying the types of tomatoes that are linked to this outbreak at a farmer's market instead of a grocery store, for example, is not a guarantee that the tomatoes are safe. Consumers should ask retailers at farmers' markets what the sources of their tomatoes are.
Find more information from the FDA or the Centers for Disease Control.
What to do in the meantime? Try these recipes:
Main-dish recipes with cherry or grape tomatoes:
Side-salad recipes with cherry or grape tomatoes:
Bread Salad Salsa substitute recipes:
Instead of raw tomato sauces, try these recipes for:
Tomatoless pizza recipes: