Navigation Links
Tainted Tomato Cases Jump to 383 People in 30 states, D.C.
Date:6/18/2008

FDA still unsure of source; New York City links 7 infections to salmonella poisoning

WEDNESDAY, June 18 (HealthDay News) -- The number of people known to have fallen ill after eating salmonella-tainted tomatoes has now jumped to 383 in 30 states plus the District of Columbia, U.S. health officials announced Wednesday afternoon.

"The marked increase is not due to new infections but mainly because some states improved surveillance in response to this outbreak and laboratory identification of many other previously submitted strains has now been completed," said Casey Barton Behravesh, an epidemiologist with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, during a teleconference. "We now have reports of at least 48 persons being hospitalized due to this illness."

The ages of the patients ranges from under 1 to 88 years old, and 47 percent of them are female. The most recent onset of illness was June 5; the outbreak was first discovered in April.

"We are continuing to receive reports of ill people," said Dr. Robert Tauxe, deputy director of the CDC's division of foodborne, bacterial and mycotic diseases. "We do not think the outbreak is over."

Tauxe also could not say if the outbreak had peaked yet, given that some states are still catching up on necessary laboratory work. "I would say that the majority of new cases had onset around three to four weeks ago, but some new cases onset in the last two to three weeks that might suggest that there are still some cases continuing to occur," he said. "It's too early to call the peak, and we certainly cannot say that it's over."

Officials have still not zeroed in on the exact source of the contamination, although tomatoes from Mexico and Florida are the likely culprits, said Dr. David Acheson, associate commissioner for food protection at the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

Still, Acheson seemed less certain than he has in the past that the exact source would ever be identified. "I have to acknowledge that we may not ultimately know the farm where these came from," he said. "But we're continuing to go flat-out, assuming we are going to get to that point."

A cluster of nine cases still holds promise for helping to break the deadlock. But a second patient has retracted the original information he or she gave the FDA on where contaminated tomatoes were eaten, basically rendering that particular "trace-back" effort worthless, officials acknowledged.

Acheson would not confirm that this cluster of nine cases was the same as a cluster being investigated in Chicago that originated at the Adobo Grill restaurant.

Meanwhile, restaurants and supermarkets across the country are starting to sell and serve tomatoes again. The Chicago Sun-Times reported that McDonald's restaurants are bringing back some tomatoes, as is Wendy's and Burger King. Yum Brands, which owns Taco Bell, KFC and Pizza Hut, is also bringing back tomatoes from "safe" areas, the newspaper said.

"I can't speak to why one chain is going back and one isn't," Acheson said. "From a food-safety perspective, I'd like retailers to put tomatoes on the menu but make sure they come from a safe place. They do need to know their suppliers."

Acheson also said that the FDA has asked for authority to take action to prevent future outbreaks. "We have put the word out that we need authority to require preventative control," he said. "Exactly what that would look like would depend exactly on what the legislation looked like. But at a high level, we feel we need preventative control for high-risk foods, and tomatoes and other types of fresh produce would be part of that."

Currently, the U.S. agriculture industry relies on a set of voluntary "good practices" to ensure food safety.

"We have asked for authorities, and we don't yet have them. What we're looking for here is mandatory. There would be no voluntary about it," Acheson said.

In other developments, New York City has linked seven cases of illness to salmonella-contaminated raw tomatoes, according to Bloomberg.

And the Seattle Post-Intelligencer reported on its Web site that more than 8,000 people may have actually been sickened in this salmonella outbreak. The explanation: "Based on earlier extensive studies and extrapolations, the CDC has estimated that for every one case of salmonellosis reported, there are 38 additional cases that are not reported," according to the newspaper site.

Salmonella is a bacteria that can cause bloody diarrhea in humans. Some 40,000 cases of salmonellosis are reported in the United States each year, although the CDC estimates that because milder cases are not diagnosed or reported, the actual number of infections may be 30 or more times greater. Approximately 600 people die each year after being infected.

More information

Visit the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for more on the salmonella outbreak.



SOURCES: June 16, 2008, teleconference with David Acheson, M.D., associate commissioner for food protection, U.S. Food and Drug Administration; Robert Tauxe, M.D., deputy director, Division of Foodborne, Bacterial and Mycotic Diseases, U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; Casey Barton Behravesh, epidemiologist, CDC; Bloomberg; Chicago Sun-Times


'/>"/>
Copyright©2008 ScoutNews,LLC.
All rights reserved  

Related medicine news :

1. PA Agriculture Department Warns Consumers of Tainted Raw Milk Sold by Perry County Dairy
2. Drug Safety, Tainted Food Among Years Top Health Stories
3. U.S. Food Safety: A Grocery List of Tainted Products
4. PA Agriculture Department Warns Consumers of Tainted Raw Milk Sold By Clarion, Crawford County Dairies
5. Researchers Identify Contaminant in Tainted Heparin
6. Tainted Tomatoes Likely From Florida or Mexico: FDA
7. FDA Narrowing Tainted Tomato Probe to One Cluster
8. Tomato Diet Cant Guarantee Prostate Health: Study
9. Fighting a Fungus That Thrives on Tomatoes
10. Dehydrated tomatoes show promise for preventing prostate cancer
11. Type of Tomato Product Determines Power Against Prostate Cancer
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
Tainted Tomato Cases Jump to 383 People in 30 states, D.C.
(Date:6/26/2016)... Michigan (PRWEB) , ... June 26, 2016 , ... On ... as sponsor of the 2016 Cereal Festival and World’s Longest Breakfast Table in Battle ... honor of the city’s history as home to some of the world’s leading providers ...
(Date:6/26/2016)... , ... June 26, 2016 , ... ... once they have been diagnosed with endometriosis. These women need a treatment plan ... require a comprehensive approach that can help for preservation of fertility and ultimately ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... ... 25, 2016 , ... "With 30 hand-drawn hand gesture animations, FCPX users can ... CEO of Pixel Film Studios. , ProHand Cartoon’s package transforms over 1,300 hand-drawn ... X . Simply select a ProHand generator and drag it above media or text ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... ... June 25, 2016 , ... On Friday, June 10, Van Mitchell, ... at Work award to iHire in recognition of their exemplary accomplishments in worksite health ... annual Maryland Workplace Health & Wellness Symposium at the BWI Marriott in Linthicum Heights. ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... June 24, 2016 , ... June 19, 2016 is World Sickle ... chronic pain and the benefits of holistic treatments, Serenity Recovery Center of ... Sickle Cell Disease. , Sickle Cell Disease (SCD) is a disorder of the red ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:6/23/2016)... Research and Markets has announced the ... report to their offering. ... favourable commercial environment for MedImmune to enter. The US ageing ... serve to drive considerable growth for effective anti-influenza medications. The ... sales considerably, but development is still in its infancy. ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... INDIANAPOLIS , June 23, 2016 ... Tomorrow,s Leaders Scholarship is any indication, the future is ... online at www.diabetesscholars.org by the Diabetes Scholars ... in the way of academic and community service excellence. ... program since 2012, and continues to advocate for people ...
(Date:6/23/2016)...  Guerbet announced today that it has been named ... . One of 12 suppliers to receive ... support of Premier members through exceptional local customer service ... to lower costs. ... outstanding customer service from Premier," says Massimo Carrara ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: