Go Ahead... Add the Tomatoes

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WASHINGTON - Tomatoes have been cleared in that nationwide salmonella scare. But certain peppers and cilantro are still on the suspect list.

Federal officials say they still don't know what's sickened some 1,200 Americans hit with salmonella since April, but they're sure it's not tomatoes.

But they're still suspicious about cilantro and jalapeno and Serrano peppers.

Tomato growers figure the salmonella scare has cost them a $100 million, with many farmers having to plow under their entire crop.

They're furious the FDA couldn't clear tomatoes much sooner. But the FDA says people's health is on the line here.

"We are equally frustrated and anxious and working very hard to try to figure out this outbreak. It makes nobody happy that people are still getting sick." The FDA's Dr. David Acheson said.

This latest scare has prompted almost half the people surveyed in a new poll to stop buying food they fear might make them sick. And more than a quarter say they've thrown suspicious food out because of salmonella fears.

But others say you can't let such occasional scares derail your life.

"Salmonella is something that's present in our world in vast quantities. And it's especially present in agricultural products. So it will come around from time to time,"said Allison Clark of Dilworth, North Carolina.

The public may now feel safe eating tomatoes again, but with jalapenos and serranos under suspicion, federal health officials are warning people to avoid those peppers, as well as cilantro and the dishes they might be in, like fresh salsa

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CBN News
Paul Strand

Paul Strand

CBN News Washington Sr. Correspondent

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