You Say Tomato, He Says Salmonella?!

Feds' 'confusing, back-assward' bumbling can't explain how insides got contaminated
By Sam Biddle,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 12, 2008 2:50 PM CDT
Tomatoes with vines still attached are on sale at the Hunger Mountain Cooperative in Montpelier, Vt., Tuesday, June 10, 2008.   (AP Photo)
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(Newser) – Food-safety experts continue to scratch their heads over the recent salmonella outbreak in tomatoes—and Barry Estabrook, in Gourmet, is peeved that he can't get any explanation on how the intestinal bacteria actually gets inside. One expert from a produce trade group speculates that contaminants enter through cuts in the fruit’s skin as it spends months ripening on the vine.

Regardless, Estabrook doubts the "confusing, back-assward" Food and Drug Administration will help much. "The FDA has consistently shown that it is more interested in protecting the interests of the agriculture industry than the health of American consumers," he writes. Concurs a a rep for a public-interest group: “All consumers can do is cross their fingers and hope."