COLUMBUS (TDB) -- Ohio tomatoes are harvested later in the summer and into the autumn. Right now, the plants are in farm fields and gardens, blooming and setting fruit. Tomatoes aren't even planted in Ohio until all danger of frost is past, usually mid-May. Even though the 2008 crop is not ripe or on grocery shelves, the state says they've been cleared as safe to eat:
"June 10, 2008 – Ohio Tomatoes Cleared by U.S. Food and Drug Administration
Reynoldsburg, Ohio – The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recently added Ohio to a list of states that are not associated with the latest food safety alert for certain types of raw red tomatoes and products containing raw red tomatoes, due to an outbreak of salmonellosis.
Ohio Agriculture Director Robert Boggs informs Ohio consumers that Ohio-grown tomatoes are safe for consumption.
"The FDA has cleared Ohio tomatoes as part of their investigation, allowing consumers to buy with confidence," Boggs said. "Ohio is ranked fifth nationally in tomato production, and I'm glad that our producers won't feel the economic affects of this nationwide food safety alert."
According to the FDA, 145 cases of salmonellosis caused by Salmonella Saintpaul have been reported since mid-April. The FDA recommends that consumers not eat raw red Roma, raw red Plum, raw Round red tomatoes, or products that contain these types of raw red tomatoes unless the tomatoes are from sources not associated with this outbreak.
A complete list of states, territories, or countries not associated with this outbreak is available at www.fda.gov/oc/opacom/hottopics/tomatoes.html#retailers."