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Raw Tomatoes Linked to Salmonella Outbreak: Three cases identified in Kansas

By Elana Gordon

Kansas City, MO – The Kansas Department of Health and Environment has identified three cases of Salmonella infections that are linked to a recent outbreak of the illness across nine states. Health officials in Texas and New Mexico, where the majority of cases have occurred, believe the consumption of raw tomatoes is responsible for the outbreak. Kansas Health and Environment Spokesperson Mike Heideman is advising residents to take extra caution with tomatoes.

Heideman: We're recommending that people avoid purchasing any tomatoes that appear to be bruised or damaged and to discard any that appear to be spoiled, to thoroughly wash all tomatoes before consuming them and to refrigerate them within two hours.

The CDC reports that a total of 70 cases have been identified with the overall outbreak. Salmonella is a food-bourn illness that in most cases, isn't fatal, but can be associated with fever, diarrhea and abdominal cramps for up to 7 days. About 40,000 people annually are infected with it.

Funding for health care coverage on KCUR has been provided by the Health Care Foundation of Greater Kansas City.

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