Friday, December 2, 2011


Maybe I haven't been paying enough attention to the issue, but I don't remember another year when there have been so many grape tomato recalls in the U.S. And all because of Salmonella bacteria. What is it about grape tomatoes, rather than plum tomatoes, cherry tomatoes, globe (beefsteak) tomatoes, roma tomatoes, heirloom tomatoes...or strawberry tomatoes (a new one I found at Berkeley Bowl a couple of days ago) that makes them more risky? I would never make a good lawyer, as I am asking a question to which I don't know the answer. But I do have some theories.

There was a recall in early May of this year of grape tomatoes that originated in Florida, but were distributed all over the place (including to Canada). I did about 5 posts on that one. Then in September, there was a recall of organic grape tomatoes that were grown in Mexico, but distributed in the U.S. by a California-based company (I covered that one too).

Now, we have another recall of grape tomatoes, although hopefully, just a small one. This time they apparently originated in Texas. Front Row Produce of St. Louis MO is recalling its 10oz pint and 10lb bulk grape tomatoes supplied by Rio Queen Citrus, Mission TX. The recalled 10oz pint and 10lb bulk grape tomatoes were distributed throughout Missouri and Illinois to foodservice distributors and retail stores.

There were no lot numbers on the clear plastic packages sold in the stores (oh..oh). Yes, they were on the cardboard case they came in, but that doesn't help us consumers. Anyway, from now on this company's grape tomatoes will have green stickers on the bottom of the plastic package with a seven-digit lot number. That should make future recalls easier. Better late than never.

That reminds me, I bought some grape tomatoes yesterday in clear plastic packages to serve (along with other things) to the 40 or more people coming over on Sunday. Thank goodness I don't live in Illinois or Missouri, or I could just have collaborated in an outbreak of Salmonellosis. But I am concerned anyway. Where will the next grape tomato outbreak occur? Maybe I should have bought the strawberry tomatoes instead....

To your good health,

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