ANNAPOLIS (June 10, 2008) - Maryland Secretary of Agriculture Roger Richardson today announced that according to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), Maryland-grown tomatoes are not associated with the multi-state salmonellosis outbreak and have been ruled out as the source of the contamination of certain types of raw red tomatoes and products containing raw red tomatoes.
Tomatoes from states not implicated in the outbreak are the best choice for consumers at this time as well as varieties not implicated. According to the FDA, these varieties include cherry tomatoes, grape tomatoes, tomatoes with the vine still attached, and home-grown tomatoes.
Consumers who are unsure of where the tomatoes are from that they have in their home can contact the store or place of purchase for that information.
Most tomatoes in Maryland have not become ripe yet, though some producers have hydroponic tomatoes that are available and are being shipped to stores.
In 2006, Maryland grew 120,000 pounds of tomatoes valued at $6 million on 1,000 acres. According to the 2002 Census of Agriculture, Maryland ranks 19th in harvested acres of fresh market tomatoes.
For more information, visit: http://www.fda.gov/oc/opacom/hottopics/tomatoes.html .
Source: Maryland Department of Agriculture