Feature

How salmonella affects consumers

Health officials list more foods as salmonella risks.

What happenedOver 1,000 people have now fallen ill due to the tomato-related salmonella outbreak, which began in April. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control have added hot peppers and cilantro to the list of risky foods. Dr. Robert Tauxe of the CDC said, "This is the largest foodborne outbreak in the United States." (The Washington Post)

What the commentators said"Seven weeks into their investigation, federal health officials aren’t shortening the list of potential culprits but adding to it," said Lauren Neergaard on the Daily Journal Online. How frustrating—and not just for consumers. This must be negatively impacting tomato, cilantro, and jalapeno pepper producers.

So "if you had salmonella poisoning, would you know?" said Elizabeth Landau on CNN. Salmonella and E. coli actually have similar symptoms: "diarrhea, vomiting, abdominal cramps, and sometimes a low-grade fever." If you have any of these symptoms and they become extreme, you should seek medical attention.

The symptoms of salmonella usually go away within a week, said the BBC. But those "most at risk of developing severe illness are the elderly, infants and people with weakened immune systems"—these are the people who should be especially careful.

This isn't the first tomato-related salmonella outbreak, but hopefully it's the last, said Michelle Fabio on the tomato blog Tomato Casual. Researchers at Ontario’s University of Guelph are working on a vaccine for tomato plants that would prevent the growth of salmonella. For the sake of salsa lovers and the 1,000 already sick, we wish them luck!

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