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The Food and Drug Administration has alerted consumers in New Mexico that a food poisoning outbreak has been linked to certain types of uncooked red tomatoes and products containing raw red tomatoes.
According to the Center for Disease Control, reports of salmonella as a result of consuming these products have now come from nine other states – Texas, Arizona, Utah, Colorado, Kansas, Idaho, Illinois and Indiana.
Lab tests have confirmed at least 40 cases of the disease in New Mexico, which is of the “Saintpaul” strain. Preliminary data from the New Mexico Department of Health suggest that large Roma, large round red, and red plum tomatoes are the source of contamination.
The CDC speculates that illnesses began between April 23 and May 27, with patients ranging in age from 3-82 years old. At least 17 people have been hospitalized. No deaths have been reported.
In New Mexico, there have been reports of illness in Bernalillo, Cibola, Curry, Doña Ana, Grant, McKinley, Otero, San Juan, Sandoval and Socorro counties.
Salmonella symptoms include fever and abdominal cramps 12-72 hours after infection, and moderate to severe diarrhea.
The illness usually lasts four to seven days, and most people are able to recover without treatment, although some require hospitalization due to severe diarrhea.
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