Grocers pull tomatoes from shelves

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, June 10, 2008


The sign on the Subway window at the Dallas Avenue location apologized to customers for pulling raw tomatoes from the dressings options.

Winn-Dixie at both locations pulled many tomatoes from the produce bins. So did Wal-Mart.

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The response came the same day the U.S. Food and Drug Administration expanded its warning to consumers nationwide of a salmonellosis outbreak linked to consumption of certain raw red plum, red Roma and red round tomatoes and products containing these raw, red tomatoes.

The FDA published a list of states, territories and countries where tomatoes are grown and harvested, which are not associated with the outbreak, including: Arkansas, California, Georgia, Hawaii, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Belgium, Canada, Dominican Republic, Guatemala, Israel, the Netherlands and Puerto Rico.

Since April, 145 cases of salmonellosis caused by Salmonella Saintpaul have occurred nationwide. At least 23 of those cases resulted in hospitalization, according to the FDA.

Alabama has yet to report any of the illnesses.

Salmonellosis can cause serious and sometimes fatal infections, particularly in young children, frail or elderly people and those with weakened immune systems. Healthy people often experience fever, diarrhea&8212;which may be bloody&8212;nausea, vomiting and abdominal pain.

States reporting illnesses linked to the outbreak include Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Oregon, Texas, Utah, Virginia, Washington and Wisconsin.

Alabama has also reported similar illnesses, though Winn-Dixie Stores voluntarily pulled the tomatoes cited by the FDA.

Wal-Mart Corporate Communications released a statement saying all its stores had pulled the tomatoes cited by the FDA.

Wal-Mart said it would give a full refund to consumers who purchased certain Romas, slicers, three package and four pack tomatoes.