The Louisiana Department of Agriculture and Forestry wants you to know: Louisiana tomatoes are perfectly safe to eat, despite a salmonella outbreak in 13 other states:
Louisiana Agriculture and Forestry Commissioner Mike Strain, D.V.M. said the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has placed Louisiana-grown tomatoes on their approved safe to buy and eat list.
Louisiana tomatoes are at peak season right now but the big supermarket chains were refusing to buy them from our state growers because of a Salmonella outbreak in New Mexico and Texas, Strain said. I asked the FDA to include us on the list of safe states to buy and eat locally grown tomatoes and they responded promptly.
No deaths have been reported from eating diseased tomatoes, but at least 23 people have been hospitalized from eating the fruit. As Tomato Hysteria '08 continues to spread, McDonalds, Taco Bell, and Chipotle Mexican Grill have stopped serving tomatoes for the duration.
But if you were planning to go to this weekend's Creole Tomato Festival in the French Quarter? Go.