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Old 06-11-2008, 07:31 AM   #31
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From what I saw on TV this AM, they isolate where the tomatoes came from by investigating the first reported illness. That points to the source. Then they can state that tomatoes from other locations are OK to eat. So if the source is a specific location and that location does not grow on the vine tomatoes or cherry tomatoes, they can say those are safe.
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Old 06-11-2008, 09:49 AM   #32
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I noticed that with all the talk about the tomatoes no one has mentioned cooking them first. No one on the news broadcasts, in the newpaper articles or on the cooking sites. If you can kill salmonella by cooking chicken, wouldn't you be able to cook the tomatoes and do the same thing?

And what the heck happened to my color button????
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Old 06-11-2008, 10:32 AM   #33
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Michelle (B'sgirl), I hope you and your family are feeling better and have no lasting effects. It might be good to seek medical advice, just to be on the safe side.

As for the boiled water dip and shock, that's a thought. But nearly half fall off the vine by the time they get through the cashier, bagger and then getting home and unpacked. I will still do a thorough cleaning and carefully core and endcap those right in hand to prevent cross contamination. I guess we can't be too careful. There is a local grower who has hot house tomatoes, which aren't the same but are surely better than the supermarket variety, albeit 3-4x the cost.

I can't wait for my tomatoes to start ... the hanging vine is flowering.

Thanks for all the advice group, and stay safe!
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Old 06-11-2008, 10:52 AM   #34
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Adillo303 View Post
OK - Here is my question. When a recall of this sort occurs, does anyone know how they determine what is and is not affected? Does anyone know if the affected product can, for example, be canned?

It seems to me that the FDA is into big recalls lately, the big hamburger one and now this. Beyons food, the FAA grounted a lot of planes for tie wrap spacing.

On the other hand South Korea is virtually shut down over import of US Beef and Mad Cow disease.

Gotta ask how we know we are really safe?

Jest Askin
They can test the tomatoes for the Salmonella organism. Usually the first place they look is at the processing plant for contaminated wash water. The trick is finding the right processing plant.

Another potential in contaminated soil. Salmonella can be taken up by roots and will be found in vines. They are not clear if the organism can travel through the vine to the fruit. Salmonella can enter the fruit through any opening, like one made by insects in conjunction with irrigation that splashes contaminated soil onto the tomatoes.

If properly canned, cooked tomatoes should be safe.

Often recalls are "voluntary" in that the manufacturers or processors have a huge interest in being sure no one becomes ill on their products.
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Old 06-11-2008, 10:18 PM   #35
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OK - Here is my question. When a recall of this sort occurrs, does anyone know how they determine what is and is not affected? Does anyone know if the affected product can, for example, be canned?
Basically - it's a process of elimination. It begins with making a cursory list of what, and where, everyone ate in the 72-hours prior to getting sick - and comparing them to see what they all have in common. Hospitals (and sometimes private physicians) report this to the local health department, this info is passed on to the state health department, which passes it on to the CDC - every day.

In this case - the common factor was raw roma, plum and round red tomatoes. They then had to identify where the tomatoes were purchased, where the stores obtained their tomatoes ... etc. From tracking back - they have been able to eliminate some sources.

You might find this information about what happens at the CDC/FDA level of some interest.
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Old 06-11-2008, 10:57 PM   #36
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The real delaying factor is they have to test every tomato source. Most do not have the salmonella toxin, but the only way they can know is put a sample in a petri dish and grow a culture. This all takes time.

I'm surprised they don't go through the same process with eggs, which also potentially contains salmonella. No recall on them.
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Old 06-11-2008, 11:35 PM   #37
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... I'm surprised they don't go through the same process with eggs, which also potentially contains salmonella. No recall on them.
A couple of things about eggs - since they (some) are known to contain salmonella - "the rules" suggest cooking eggs, and eat at your own risk if not fully cooked. THe primary source of salmonella contaminated eggs has been isolated to maily the northest US, although it has been moving down the east coast.

As for the laying hens ... if you tested a hen and she was free of salmonella, the only way to keep her that way would be to cage her ... and that would put a knot in the knickers of the free-range group.

Another problem is - a hen that tests negative for salmonella can lay eggs contaminated with salmonella. And, a hen that test positive for salmonella can lay disease free eggs.
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Old 06-12-2008, 08:30 AM   #38
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The risk of Salmonella in eggs is low, 1 in 20,000.

Most of that risk is from migration of the organism into the white through the shell. Commercial eggs are bathed in a solution that kills the organism on the outside. The white does not provide a good growing medium for the organism, and under proper refrigeration provides an even lower chance of growth of the organism. There is no toxin issues with salmonella outside the human host.

Rarely, the yoke will be contaminated and that provides a perfect medium for growth. Again, under proper refrigeration, no growth will occur.

Hard cooking eliminates pretty much all risk from the organism. But sunny side up or over easy eggs are considered safe enough that they are not prohibited by health authorities in commercial food establishments.

And of course there are always pasteurized in the shell eggs for the totally risk adverse.
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Old 06-12-2008, 10:30 AM   #39
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i went to chic-fil-a & they wouldn't put tomato on my sammich.
(i'm from pennsylvania!)
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Old 06-12-2008, 12:07 PM   #40
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I understand the process of finding out what caused the sickness. What I am trying to understand is how they can then decide that such a vast number of tomatoe sources all have a salmonella problem. Or, do they take a shotgun approach and shut down a lot of places and then test? As has been pointed out, it takes a while to find out if the Salmonella is actually present.

As for cooking the tomatoes, I think they are quarantined and can go no where till they are cleared, at which point, they could be spoiled.

AC
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