PA Ag Department Announces Positive Test in Salmonella Investigation
HARRISBURG, Pa.,Pennsylvania Agriculture Secretary Dennis Wolff today announced that the state Department of Agriculture has confirmed a positive test for salmonella in Roma tomatoes distributed by Coronet Foods of West Virginia.
"This morning, the laboratory division of the Bureau of Food Safety confirmed a positive salmonella test result in a unopened bag of Roma tomatoes taken from a Sheetz store in Greencastle," said Wolff. "The tomatoes were distributed by Coronet Foods of West Virginia. We will continue testing other samples collected to help ensure that the outbreak is not linked to other sources."
Wolff added that Sheetz voluntarily pulled all products in question immediately upon notification of a potential problem. The Department of Health will now test the sample to type the strain.
"This test result brings us one step closer to understanding this outbreak," said Joel Hersh, Director of Epidemiology at the Department of Health. "Government agencies can now begin the process of finding out how the tomatoes became infected."
Salmonella is a bacterial infection that usually affects the intestinal tract, causing diarrhea and the threat of dehydration.
Symptoms can include fever, mild or severe diarrhea, nausea, abdominal cramping and occasional vomiting. Infections can be partially serious among the elderly, the frail or the very young and sometimes can be fatal. Salmonella is a common cause of gastroenteritis, with about 2,000 cases reported each year in Pennsylvania.
CONTACT: Kristina L. Watson, Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture, +1-717-787-5085; or Richard McGarvey, Pennsylvania Department of Health, +1-717-787-1783.