McDonald's, Wal-Mart Stop Selling Tomatoes

McDonald's, Wal-Mart and several other U.S. chains have stopped selling raw tomatoes.

Federal health officials are trying to trace the source of a salmonella outbreak linked to tomatoes that have sickened people in at least 16 states.

No illnesses have been reported in N.C. The 16 states are: Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Oregon, Texas, Utah, Virginia, Washington and Wisconsin.


A salmonella outbreak linked to raw tomatoes serves as a reminder to take extra care with summer fruits and vegetables. While there is no way for consumers to detect salmonella (you can't smell, taste or see it), there are some things you can do reduce the risk from raw vegetables. Cooking tomatoes at 145 degrees will kill salmonella.

Here are other tips from food safety experts:

Check your tomatoes

The Food and Drug Administration is advising people even in unaffected states to eat only tomatoes not associated with the outbreak: cherry tomatoes, grape tomatoes, tomatoes sold with the vine still attached and tomatoes grown at home. For other tomatoes, cut away the part that is attached to the plant and the button on the other side. That part can carry a food-borne illness because it's a hard area and organisms can attach themselves to it.

Wash produce

Wash produce, whether organic or not, with cold running water. Scrub them gently with your hands or with a vegetable brush. Remove outer layers of cabbage and lettuce.

Wash hands, surfaces

Wash your hands with soap and water thoroughly before handling food. Wash your hands if you come in contact with pet feces, use the bathroom or change a baby's diaper. Also wash cutting boards, counters and utensils to avoid cross-contamination. Avoid any kind of contact with raw meat when preparing fresh vegetables. Refrigerate sliced-up fruits and vegetables.

Inquire at restaurants

Ketchup and cooked sauces are not affected by the outbreak. And several restaurants are not serving tomatoes -- on Monday, McDonald's and other chains said they had stopped serving sliced tomatoes in their U.S. restaurants.

Report the illness

Salmonella poisoning generally occurs hours after ingestion and involves symptoms such as abdominal cramps, headache, fever, diarrhea, nausea and vomiting. The CDC says symptoms generally appear 12 to 72 hours after infection. People should report a suspected food-borne illness to the local health department.

You must be logged in to post comments.

Password (case sensitive):
Remember Me:

Read Comments

Comments are posted from viewers like you and do not always reflect the views of this station.
  • by David Location: Manteo on Jun 10, 2008 at 07:27 AM
    Ok now this is really going a little over board with all these foods being poisoned. We as consumers have been eating these foods for decades without a concern in site. Now, all of a sudden, these foods are deadly and contain poisoning chemicals? This has got to be some childish game these factory workers are doing in order to get attention by the media. Factories need to be investigated, employees need to be fired and the FDA need to be more accurate when inspecting the products and what is being used on and near the products, as well as what the chemicals are being used for in that particular area of the company. There is allot of negligence played by many people and its time to stop. Why now are things that once never bothered us, now are deadly? The Government has a plan I believe!! The gig is up, the joke has been solved, now its time to stop trying to kill us, we have enough going on in this world as it is to kill us! If we cant trust the our government or FDA, who can we trust?

275 E. Arlington Blvd. Greenville, NC 27858 252-439-7777
Copyright © 2002-2016 - Designed by Gray Digital Media - Powered by Clickability 19685579 -
Gray Television, Inc.