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Tomatoes grown in N.Y. safe, official says

Tomatoes grown in N.Y. safe, official says

New York State Agriculture Commissioner Patrick Hooker released a statement Tuesday declaring tomato

New York State Agriculture Commissioner Patrick Hooker released a statement Tuesday declaring tomatoes grown in New York to be safe to consume.

Hooker said the U.S. Food and Drug Administration confirmed this information late Monday and expanded its list of production areas not associated with the outbreak to include New York.

According to state officials, New York is a significant producer of tomatoes, ranking 13th among U.S. states, but New York’s tomato season typically does not start until late June.

“However, there are a handful of greenhouse operations throughout the state that are offering New York grown tomatoes, which are safe to consume and have not been linked to the recent salmonella outbreak,” Hooker stated.

On June 7 the FDA alerted consumers nationwide that a salmonellosis outbreak appears to be linked to consumption of certain types of raw red tomatoes and products containing raw red tomatoes. The specific type and source of tomatoes are under investigation. According to federal officials preliminary data suggests that raw red plum, raw red Roma, or raw round red tomatoes are the cause.

The FDA is recommending consumers limit their tomato consumption to tomatoes that have not been implicated in the outbreak, which includes cherry tomatoes, grape tomatoes, tomatoes sold with the vine still attached and tomatoes grown at home.

If consumers do intend to eat raw red plum, raw red Roma, or raw red round tomatoes, Hooker recommends they do so only if the fruit is grown and harvested from the states and countries listed on FDA’s Web site at www.fda.gov/oc/opacom/hottopics/tomatoes.html.

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