Tomato scare hits Putnam County

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Over the weekend, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued a salmonella warning on certain types of tomatoes.

As of Wednesday, the Taco Bell on Indianapolis Road in Greencastle was not serving any tomatoes.

"We are not serving tomatoes at all," said Taco Bell manager Sherry McCracken. "We have been denying them on the truck."

Taco Bell and all affiliates have pulled tomatoes from their menu as a precaution. There have not been any reported cases of salmonella linked to any fast food chains.

Subway in Greencastle received the OK to serve tomatoes from their corporate office.

Subway manager Delia McCalister said, "We threw out all the old stock just as a precaution, but people have been very understanding."

Value Market grocery store in Cloverdale has also been given the go-ahead to continue selling their tomatoes.

"We never pulled any tomatoes because we know that our tomatoes are shipped from one of the safe places deemed by the FDA," said produce manager Tobi Scott.

Country Folks Green House & Produce at the junction of U.S. 231 and Ind. 36 is also still selling tomatoes. Owner Tricia Oliver said their tomatoes are shipped from Florida.

The safe places that tomatoes ship from include 19 states, including New York, California and Florida. One international place not on the "OK List" was Mexico.

The FDA also does not recommend cooking tomatoes to prevent illness from this outbreak; they should not be eaten, period.

In this outbreak, it is all about where the tomato is grown. Since certain states and countries specialize in specific types of tomatoes, the FDA can pinpoint where the infection occurred. Due to this, all tomatoes from the areas that have not been ruled out as the epicenter for the outbreak should not be eaten.

Local farm tomatoes and hydroponically produced tomatoes are fine. However, the local tomato season is still about a month away.

Salmonella is a type of bacterium that lives in the intestinal tracts of humans and animals and is transmitted initially through contact with feces. It is hard to understand how tomatoes would become a victim of this.

However, when crops come into contact with water when they are irrigated, fertilized, washed and processed, it is possible to imagine that the water came into such contact especially if there is livestock nearby.

View 1 comment
Note: The nature of the Internet makes it impractical for our staff to review every comment. Please note that those who post comments on this website may do so using a screen name, which may or may not reflect a website user's actual name. Readers should be careful not to assign comments to real people who may have names similar to screen names. Refrain from obscenity in your comments, and to keep discussions civil, don't say anything in a way your grandmother would be ashamed to read.
  • I was in Wal Mart on Thursday and Friday and I asked why they had not pulled their tomatoes. I was told that they had not received the order to do so. On one of the Indianapolis new stations, they had reported that ALL Wal Marts had removed tomatoes in the state.

    What is wrong with the management at our store that they can not keep the health of their customers top most in their store.

    One of the employees made the remark to me that it was all hype. Why do we have such people work in our store. Maybe they need to be the ones who eat the tainted tomatroes and then they would wake up.

    -- Posted by reader 2 on Thu, Jun 12, 2008, at 5:38 AM
Respond to this story

Posting a comment requires free registration: