The Food and Drug Administration is alerting consumers in New Mexico and Texas that a salmonellosis outbreak appears to be linked to consumption of certain types of raw red tomatoes and products containing raw red tomatoes.
The bacteria causing the illnesses are Salmonella serotype Saintpaul, an uncommon type of Salmonella.
The specific type and source of tomatoes are under investigation. However, preliminary data suggest that raw red plum, red Roma, or round red tomatoes are the cause.
At this time, travelers and consumers in New Mexico and Texas should limit their tomato consumption to tomatoes that have not been implicated in the outbreak. These include cherry tomatoes, grape tomatoes, tomatoes sold with the vine still attached, and tomatoes grown at home.
Salmonella can cause serious and sometimes fatal infections particularly in young children, frail or elderly people, and those with weakened immune systems. Healthy persons often experience fever, diarrhea (which may be bloody), nausea, vomiting, and abdominal pain.
Consumers in New Mexico and Texas who have recently eaten raw tomatoes or foods containing raw tomatoes and are experiencing any of these symptoms should contact their health care provider. All Salmonella infections should be reported to state or local health authorities.
Source: U.S. Food and Drug Administration, USA