Not Only Tomatoes

July 2, 2008

Whole Salad Bowl Now Target of Expanded FDA and CDC Investigation

The FDA and CDC have expanded their investigation of the ongoing Salmonella Saintpaul outbreak to target “foods commonly served with tomatoes.”

But David Acheson, M.D., the FDA’s food safety director, refused to name the other possible salad-bowl suspects, although he did confirm that evidence uncovered over the weekend persuaded the FDA and CDC to widen the search.

Nonetheless, Dr. Acheson said, tomatoes remain the main suspect.

In addition to widening the search to include other produce, Dr. Acheson said the FDA has activated the Food Emergency Response Network (FERN), a cooperative laboratory network established in the wake of Sept. 11.

He said that FERN was last activated during the E. coli contaminated spinach investigation last year and before that was used to pinpoint the source of contamination of dog food imported from China.

Also today the CDC announced that the number of confirmed Salmonella serotype Saintpaul cases now stands at 869, with 107 hospitalizations.

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