Spicy, Spicy!

A few weeks ago, I sneaked out of NPR, to buy a sandwich for lunch. Two blocks away, I made my standard order: turkey and swiss on wheat, with mayonnaise, lettuce and tomatoes.

"Sorry. No tomatoes. Read the sign."

The sandwich maker gestured to a small piece of paper, taped to the sneeze guard. Because of a recent salmonella outbreak, the restaurant planned to remove tomatoes from its menu indefinitely.

Ladies and gentlemen, I'm happy to report that they're back. Tomatoes are "in the clear." Jalapeno peppers, though? That's another story.

At the end of our second hour, Dr. David Acheson, the associate commissioner for foods for the Food and Drug Administration, will tell us how his agency pinpoints the source of salmonella outbreaks.

If you have a question about food safety investigations, or what you can and cannot eat, leave it here.



Please keep your community civil. All comments must follow the NPR.org Community rules and terms of use, and will be moderated prior to posting. NPR reserves the right to use the comments we receive, in whole or in part, and to use the commenter's name and location, in any medium. See also the Terms of Use, Privacy Policy and Community FAQ.

Those poor tomato growers! Is the FDA going to compensate them for their losses? This "epidemic" affected so few people. Was all of that drama warranted? Maybe FDA should keep quiet until it has something conclusive to say. Is is the peppers today, but the avocado tomorrow?

Sent by Mike | 2:17 PM | 7-22-2008

Consumers are looking for more organic produce. As I understand the Process of becoming an organic certified producer, the farm needs to operate as organic for 2 years before it is certified as organic. Is it possible that the recent outbreaks are a result of improper farming techniques as the farms are working towards organic certification?

Sent by Doug Lange | 3:50 PM | 7-22-2008

The lack of safety regulations in a global food system are frightening, and a positive solution for local economies is to know who grows your food. My family is a member of a CSA, and we have an intimate knowledge of how our food is grown and processed. To find a list of CSA's (community supported agriculture farms) in your area go to LocalHarvest.org.

Sent by Elizabeth Forest | 3:51 PM | 7-22-2008

why aren't the people being informed about gardening? If people had gardens there would be a huge decrease in salmonella. You also wouldn't have to pay hundreds of dollars on produce. we need to get the public aware of gardening. it's fun, easy,and free!!

Sent by Reuben | 3:59 PM | 7-22-2008

I wish you would have more carefully corrected the caller who insinuated that bacterial outbreaks in vegetables can come from the meat behind the same counter. While I sympathize for vegetarians concerned with their vegetables being contaminated with meat, it should have been made more clear that cooked deli meat is rarely the source of the bacterial contamination. Rather, it is the vegetables that came in contact with an animal byproduct long before it ever sat next to the meat in the store.

Sent by Tchad Rogers | 4:03 PM | 7-22-2008

Just hearing that the risk/benefit ratio in eating produce is acceptable probably wasn't that much comfort to to the woman who had so many questions about how to protect her family. I also have been a member of a CSA for several years, and also shop weekly at our local farmers' market. That's the answer that makes the most sense.... buy as local as you can. Even big cities have lots of farmers markets and CSAs now. You can support your local and regional growers, save fossil fuels, and have fresher, tastier, healthier and usually cheaper food all at the same time. There's no down side.

Sent by Jeanne McMenemy | 4:40 PM | 7-22-2008

A new report from the editors of Bottom Line Newsletters' "Daily Health News" links an aggravated reaction to Salmonella poisoning to the excessive use of proton pump inhibitors (PPI) by both adults and children. Cutting back on prescription and over-the-counter antacids and replacing them with naturally-occuring products will still combat an overly acidic stomach without compromising the body's ability to naturally ward off infection from commonly occurring food poisonings. For a link to the article visit: (www.bottomlinesdailyhealthnews.com) (Available online as of August 5, 2008)

Sent by Rob Seitz | 3:41 PM | 8-4-2008

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