Salmonella Now Largest Food-Borne Outbreak in US

More than 1,000 cases reported; tomatoes and hot peppers still the main suspects
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 9, 2008 7:30 PM CDT
In this file photo, tomatoes ripen on the vine in Hanover County, Va.    (AP Photo/Steve Helber)

(Newser) – The number of salmonella cases has surpassed 1,000, making it the nation's largest food-borne outbreak, says the CDC. Despite the volume of cases, investigators still can't quite pinpoint the exact cause or source, LiveScience reports. Certain types of tomatoes, hot peppers and cilantro—the main ingredients of salsa—remain the main suspects.

Of the 1,017 cases in 41 states, 203 people have been hospitalized, and at least one death has been associated with the outbreak. Many recent cases involved people who ate salsa, made with jalapeno peppers and fresh tomatoes, at restaurants. But, "neither tomatoes nor jalapenos explain the entire outbreak at this point," said one expert. The CDC advises people to avoid fresh red plum, red Roma, and round red tomatoes. The young and old should avoid jalapeno peppers.