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Local Food Vendors Respond to Salmonella Outbreak

Certain types of tomatoes are off the menu after the Food and Drug Administration has found they may be carrying a Salmonella bacteria. KSMU's Benjamin Fry reports on how this is affecting some Springfield food vendors.

Missouri is one of 31 states associated with the latest salmonella outbreak that has been linked to tomato consumption.

The FDA suggests that the specific types to avoid are the raw red tomatoes including plum, roma, and round.

Fast-food chains and grocery stores have responded to this by pulling all tomatoes off their menus and shelves and locally-owned restaurants are taking action as well.

Debbie Wilson is the Manager at Ziggie's Café on South Campbell in Springfield.

She says several of their breakfast items have been altered due to the outbreak.

"We have an American Omelet that has tomatoes, we do not put the tomatoes in that. Same way with our veggie omelet, our veggie skillets, they have tomatoes. We don't even have a tomato in the building," Wilson said.

Wilson says since most customers are already aware of the outbreak, business hasn't been affected.

And the few who didn't know about it don't really mind the missing vegetable.

"Mostly people that come in are regular customers, or they'll say I want tomatoes and you just explain to them there's been a recall on them, there could be something wrong with the tomatoes, and they're just fine with it. In fact they're very appreciative," Wilson said.

Other Springfield food vendors can offer tomatoes because their shipments come from states not affected by the outbreak.

With the exception of Roma tomatoes, Managers at the Harter House Grocery Store on Eastgate say they now stock all their regular tomatoes, because they've been coming from Arkansas since last Friday.

This outbreak doesn't mean you have to avoid all tomatoes.

According to the FDA, Cherry and Grape tomatoes and any tomatoes sold with their vine still attached appear, for now, to be safe.

For KSMU News, I'm Benjamin Fry


  • Salmonella Outbreak Alert