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Salmonella Warning On Tomatoes Lifted

ROBERT SIEGEL, host:

Go ahead. Eat that tomato. Today, the Food and Drug Administration said it is okay to consume all types of fresh tomatoes after the salmonella scare. The FDA is still investigating whether some people got sick because of jalapeno peppers. NPR's Allison Aubrey reports.

ALLISON AUBREY: In the early weeks of the salmonella outbreak, federal health officials thought they had a solid lead, linking tomatoes to these sicknesses. Lots of people they interviewed who got sick reported eating specific types of tomatoes. But when investigators tried to follow the production and distribution trails on these tomatoes to find the source of the bacterium, David Atchison of the FDA says they found nothing.

Dr. DAVID ATCHISON (The Federal Food and Drug Administration): We found no evidence of contamination with salmonella Saintpaul, the outbreak strain, during those investigations.

AUBREY: As investigations continued, they identified clusters of people exposed on the same day, the same time, who reported eating fresh jalapeno peppers. And now, the search for the bacteria is taking investigators to a packing facility in Mexico - a lead that may pan out or not.

Allison Aubrey, NPR News, Washington. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

NPR transcripts are created on a rush deadline by an NPR contractor. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Accuracy and availability may vary. The authoritative record of NPR’s programming is the audio record.

Allison Aubrey is a correspondent for NPR News, where her stories can be heard on Morning Edition and All Things Considered. She's also a contributor to the PBS NewsHour and is one of the hosts of NPR's Life Kit.