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Government Focuses On Tomatoes From Mexico, Florida

EL PASO, Texas – The FDA is focusing on a recent cluster of salmonella poisonings for clues to the source of the contaminated tomatoes. All of the people got sick eating tomatoes at two restaurants belonging to the same chain. The FDA will not release the name of the restaurants or city where they are located.

The agency has narrowed the search to tomatoes grown in Florida or Mexico.

That has man shoppers on edge across the nation and right here in the borderland.

“I’m still kind worried about the salmonella or whatever’s going around,” said Mando’s Produce shopper Michael Garcia.

The salmonella scare has slashed sales at Mando’s in half, even though grocers are no longer selling the type of tomatoes under investigation by the FDA.

Eight out of every ten tomatoes imported to the US come from Mexico. The U.S.government has stepped up inspections at the border but none of the samples has shown any trace of salmonella.

The FDA has stopped short of a ban at the border since there is no proof, but Mexican growers said the results are the same. They said just the hint of a problem has caused sales to plummet.

Health authorities on both sides of the border are working to identify the source of the salmonella but Mexico has not issued a health alert for tomatoes.

To read the latest on the FDA investigation into tainted tomatoes, click here.

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