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Virginia Tomatoes are Safe to Eat!

On June 10, 2008, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) expanded a warning to consumers nationwide that a salmonellosis outbreak has been linked to consumption of certain raw, red tomatoes. On the evening of June 11, 2008, the FDA listed Virginia as a safe source for fresh market tomatoes. Virginia's commercial tomato harvest will not begin in earnest for another week or two, but some tomatoes are already available at farmer's markets and roadside stands. All types of Virginia tomatoes are safe.

Facts About Virginia Tomatoes

National Ranking: In 2006, the latest year for which statistics are available, Virginia ranked 4th in the nation in fresh market tomato production, following Florida, California and Georgia.
2006 acreage: 5,800 acres harvested
2006 cash receipts: $144,094,000

Tomato Recipes
Photo Gallery:

Photo of Hanover tomatoes.

Photo of Hanover tomatoes.

Local tomatoes started appearing at farmer's markets and roadside
stands around June 15, a little earlier this year than usual because of
the mild winter.

VDACS Commissioner Todd Haymore and daughter Cate couldn't wait to get home to sample their tomatoes; they enjoyed their first bites while still in the parking lot at Shep's Produce in Richmond.

Photo of Hanover tomatoes.

Photo of shoppers at a VA Grown stand.

Virginia tomatoes come in a variety of sizes, shapes and colors. Many farmers offer heirloom varieties at road stands and farmer's markets.

One way to be sure you're getting safe, fresh Virginia tomatoes is to look for the Virginia Grown sign, banner or price card.

Important Links:

U.S. Food and Drug Administration
U.S. Food and Drug Administration — Safe Handling of Raw Produce
VDACS Food Safety Web site

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