FDA warning: Tainted tomatoes in 16 states

June 9, 2008 7:29:11 AM PDT
The govement warns certain types of tomatoes are tainted with Salmonella.

The Food and Drug Administration said 145 people in 16 states have been sickened by the tomatoes. 23 of those people had to be hospitalized.

Most of the cases are in Texas and New Mexico. The federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention also reports cases in Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Oklahoma, Oregon, Utah, Virginia, Washington and Wisconsin.

The source of the tomatoes responsible for the illnesses has not been pinpointed.

The FDA warns Americans not to eat: Raw Red Plum, Red Roma, and Red Round Tomatoes.

The FDA says: Cherry Tomatoes, Grape Tomatoes, Sand Tomatoes with the vine attached are safe to eat.

Some restaurant chains like Chipotle are pulling tomatoes from their menues as a precaution.

Salmonella is a bacteria that lives in the intestinal tracts of humans and other animals. It usually is transmitted to humans by eating food contaminated with animal feces.

Most infected people suffer fever, diarrhea and abdominal cramps starting 12 to 72 hours after infection. The illness tends to last four to seven days. Many people recover without treatment, but severe infection and death is possible.

(ABC News and the Associated Press contributed information for this article)