Vermont Affected By Multi-State Outbreak of Salmonella Traced to Tomatoes

For Immediate Release: June 13, 2008
Media Contact: Communication Office
Vermont Department of Health
802-863-7281

BURLINGTON – The Vermont Department of Health has confirmed one case of Salmonella that is part of a multi-state outbreak of foodborne illness, with certain types of raw tomatoes as the source of the illnesses.

The adult infected, whose name will not be released for privacy reasons, was hospitalized but has fully recovered.

There are no other cases reported in Vermont at this time. The Health Department is conducting ongoing surveillance for any new cases identified by the Health Department laboratory.

Since April 2008, 228 people in 23 states have been infected with Salmonella Saintpaul, and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration issued a warning nationwide to avoid eating certain types of tomatoes associated with the outbreak: raw red plum, red Roma, round red tomatoes, and products containing these raw tomatoes.

Types of tomatoes not linked to any illnesses are cherry tomatoes, grape tomatoes, and tomatoes with the vine still attached. Tomatoes grown in Vermont are also considered safe to eat since the state’s growing season prevents the production and harvest of tomatoes before April 15, according to the Vermont Department of Agriculture.

Symptoms of foodborne illness caused by Salmonella include fever, diarrhea and abdominal cramps. Salmonella can invade the bloodstream and cause life-threatening infections for people with weakened immune systems or other underlying health conditions.

For more information on the current outbreak, visit: http://www.fda.gov/oc/opacom/hottopics/tomatoes.html#outbreak

For additional information about Salmonella, please read the Vermont Department of Health online Salmonella Fact Sheet.

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