Canada: Some Restaurant Chains Remove Tomatoes From Menu

Posted Jun 10, 2008 by Bob Ewing
Concern over salmonella contagion has causes some chain restaurants in Canada to remove tomatoes from the menu. KFC, Pizza Hut are among those who removed tomatoes.
Red Plum/Red Roma tomatoes.
Red Plum/Red Roma tomatoes.
In the United States the Food and Drug Administration issued a warning a few days ago that the Saintpaul strain of the bacteria comes from tainted red Roma or round red tomatoes.
To date, there have been 145 cases of salmonella poisoning in the U.S. since mid-April. No deaths have been reported, but 23 people have been hospitalized.
In response to the FDA warning Yum Brands' Taco Bell, KFC and Pizza Hut restaurants pulled tomatoes from their stores as a precautionary measure Monday.
Yum Brands is not the only operation to make this move: Cara Foods, which owns Milestones Grill and Bar, Montana's Cookhouse, Harvey's and Kelsey's restaurants, pulled tomatoes from its locations on Sunday.
"There was a possibility that one of our venders was dealing with this product from this region, so we took immediate steps to pull the product out of our restaurants," said Rick McNabb with Cara Foods.
The Canadian Food Inspection Agency has stated that, to date, there is no indication the outbreak has entered Canada.
"Our alert is for consumers to be aware of what is happening in the United States ... and what products they are targeting at this point. We just wanted Canadians to be informed and to make their own appropriate decisions," said Garfield Balsom, a spokesperson for the Canadian Food Inspection Agency.
The source of the contamination has yet to be found, but once it has, if it is found the product has entered Canada, it will be removed from stores and restaurants.
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. Symptoms include fever and diarrhea.