McDonald's, Burger King and a number of other restaurant chains announced Monday that they were suspending the use of certain fresh tomatoes until they learn the source of a recent nationwide salmonella outbreak.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration warned consumers nationwide over the weekend not to eat raw red Roma, raw red plum, and raw red round tomatoes while the agency investigates the source of 145 recent cases of "Saintpaul" salmonella in 16 states that appear linked to uncooked tomatoes, the Associated Press reported.
At least 23 people have been hospitalized since April. The FDA says it doesn't know the exact source of the salmonella outbreak. But it has said that cherry tomatoes, grape tomatoes and tomatoes sold with the vine attached are believed safe to eat.
McDonald's said it stopped serving tomatoes on all of its sandwiches in the United States, while Burger King said it halted use of raw tomatoes at most of its domestic locations, except for certain restaurants in California that are serviced by growers known to be safe, the AP said.
In addition, the Chipotle Mexican Grill chain said it would stop serving its tomato salsa, and Texas Roadhouse locations and Cracker Barrel Old Country stores said they also would stop dispensing tomatoes with salads and other foods.
Regional grocer Winn-Dixie said it would remove affected tomatoes from its more than 500 stores in Florida, Alabama, Louisiana, Georgia and Mississippi, the AP said.