Earlier this week, after 167 people were infected with salmonella, the FDA warned consumers not to eat raw Roma, plum, or round tomatoes—unless said tomatoes were grown in places on the agency’s safe list. According to Bloomberg, new salmonella infections are still being reported daily.
Burger King, McDonald’s, Taco Bell, and Outback Steakhouse voluntarily pulled tomatoes from their menus to avoid sharing the nasty bacterial infection with customers. This means a lot of people are being forced to eat sad, tomatoless Big Macs. Fortunately, the whole debacle gave the New York Post the opportunity to flaunt its trademark sensationalism—by running a cover story gratuitously titled “Attack of the Killer Tomatoes.”
But for tomato farmers, the bad publicity isn’t a laughing matter. Amy Philpott, a spokeswoman for the Washington-based United Fresh Produce Association, told Bloomberg that until Florida was cleared to start shipping tomatoes yesterday, her group was losing “millions of dollars each day.”
Now the good news: The FDA has added more than 20 states to its list of safe tomato growers, so you should be able to buy a few red, juicy ones at your local supermarket in time for a Father’s Day barbecue this Sunday.