Health officials say Cambridge man ate salsa, contracted salmonella
Public health officials say a 27-year-old Cambridge man contracted salmonella linked to a nationwide outbreak associated with certain kinds of tomatoes.
The man is the second person in Cambridge to become infected with the bacteria that was originally linked with plum and Roma tomatoes.
Louise Rice, senior director of public health nursing for Cambridge, said the unidentified man had eaten not just tomatoes, but salsa, jalapeno and cilantro, which have been recently identified as possible causes of the nationwide outbreak.
Rice said health officials are still not sure what exactly caused the salmonella, but the man has recovered.
“We’ll have a little more confusion before it gets clear,” she said.
So far, the state Department of Public Health has identified 24 cases of salmonella. At least five people have been hospitalized. State health officials believe all of the reported cases became ill from late May through mid-June.
Officials have had to widen their investigation to include food items commonly eaten with tomatoes, including raw tomatoes that are often found in fresh salsa, guacamole, and pico de gallo, and are used in many other dishes.
The FDA originally issued a nationwide ban on red plum, red Roma and red round tomatoes on June 7. The administration said consumers could still eat cherry and grape tomatoes, as well as those sold with their vines attached and tomatoes grown at home. Authorities have traced the infected tomatoes to farms in Mexico and Florida.