The Food and Drug Administration Thursday lifted its consumer advisory against eating tomatoes because of the ongoing outbreak of salmonella.
"As of today, FDA officials believe consumers may enjoy all types of tomatoes available on the domestic market without fear of being infected with salmonella," Dr. David Acheson, associate FDA commissioner for foods, told reporters.
The advisory against eating certain peppers jalapeño and serrano peppers remains in effect. Those greatest at risk for severe illness are the very young, the elderly and those whose immune systems are weakened by other conditions.
At least 1,220 people have been made ill and 222 hospitalized because of the St. Paul strain of salmonella. They resided in 42 states, the District of Columbia and Canada.
Tomatoes still may be implicated in the cause of the outbreak, but there is no longer a risk of tomatoes contributing to the ongoing outbreak. The FDA lifted its advisory against eating tomatoes for two reasons:
The farms in Florida and Mexico that were implicated in the investigation are no longer shipping tomatoes.
The traceback testing of tomato supply chains, including farms, packing plants and shipping facilities, has not revealed the St. Paul strain of salmonella.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said the outbreak, which began in mid-April, appears to have been waning since mid-June, though there are still about 20 new illnesses reported per day.
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