How the produce industry responded to the tomato scare

A look at how the Produce Marketing Association kept the public informed following the tomato salmonella outbreak.

A look at how the Produce Marketing Association kept the public informed following the tomato salmonella outbreak

Some say to-may-to, some say to-mah-to, but when a salmonella outbreak impacted varieties of the popular tangy crop earlier this summer, the Produce Marketing Association (PMA) ensured everyone from growers to government agencies was speaking the same tongue.

In early June, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced that 150 people in 16 states had been sickened by salmonella after consuming raw tomatoes. When it issued its warning, it also notified the PMA.

“In the case of a food-borne illness outbreak, our immediate responsibility is to offer any resources we have to help the agencies with investigations,” says Julia Stewart, the PMA’s public relations director. “Early on in the process, we were able to work with these agencies to develop a safe list of growing regions and to determine which types of tomatoes were implicated.”

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