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Salmonella, E. coli cases tied to produce.

Fresh produce was once again in the food safety spotlight in recent months, with tomatoes linked to a 21-state outbreak of salmonella and green onions tentatively linked to E. coli several states.

Investigators with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in November linked the salmonella outbreak to tomatoes eaten restaurants, with 183 cases reported. FDA officials are working with CDC and state and local authorities to pinpoint the source the salmonella, especially in Minnesota, Massachusetts and Connecticut, which reported groups of salmonella illness.

In December, E. coli cases were reported in several states in conjunction with an outbreak associated with a fast food chain, with lettuce implicated as the likely cause illness.

In light of the recent salmonella and E. coli outbreaks, FDA issued advice consumers designed to reduce the risk of food-borne illness from fresh produce. The agency advised that Americans purchase produce that is not bruised or damaged; purchase fresh-cut produce only if it has been refrigerated or surrounded by ice; bag fresh fruits and vegetables separately from meat, poultry and seafood; and keep perishable produce such as strawberries and lettuce in a clean refrigerator.

For more on the outbreaks or food safety, visit www.fda.gov> or <www. fightbac.org>.
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Title Annotation:HEALTH FINDINGS: The latest public health studies and research; epidemic of bacterial infections
Author:Arias, Donya C.
Publication:The Nation's Health
Article Type:Brief article
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Dec 1, 2006
Words:204
Previous Article:People don't check online health sources.
Next Article:Abortion deaths not linked to drug.
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