Salmonella Outbreak Expands, FDA Less Certain

WASHINGTON D.C. (AP) — The outbreak of salmonella blamed on tainted tomatoes is wider than first thought.

Five dozen previously unknown cases have been reported, raising the tally to 228. And the number of states reporting cases is now 23, with the additions of Florida, Georgia, Missouri, New York, Tennessee and Vermont.

No deaths are blamed on the outbreak, but health officials say salmonella may have played a role in the death of a cancer patient in Texas.

Meanwhile, the Food and Drug Administration is sounding less optimistic about quickly finding the source of the outbreak. Officials now say they’re not sure how long it will take.

Tomatoes to be avoided include raw red plum, red Roma, or red round tomatoes – unless they were grown in specific states or countries that the FDA has cleared.

Grape tomatoes, cherry tomatoes and tomatoes sold with the vine still attached are believed to be safe, because none of the sick say they’ve eaten any of those.