Saturday, 2:15 PM
By Globe Staff
State public health officials say that three more cases of salmonella have been reported in the state, bringing to 24 the number of cases that have been linked with a nationwide outbreak associated with tomatoes.
Five of the people who contracted the illness had to be hospitalized. Officials believe all of the people became ill from late May through mid-June.
While the investigation has linked tomatoes to the outbreak, investigators have been widening their scope to look at foods commonly eaten with raw tomatoes, the Department of Public Health said in a statement.
Investigators are now reportedly looking at jalapeno peppers, cilantro, and serrano peppers, as possible sources. Almost 1,000 cases have been tallied nationwide.
While the investigation continues, the US Food and Drug Administration is still warning people to avoid eating certain raw red plum, raw red Roma, raw red round tomatoes, and products containing those tomatoes, health officials said.
Tomatoes that are safe to eat include cherry, grape, tomatoes sold with the vine still attached, and homegrown tomatoes. Tomatoes grown in Massachusetts are also considered safe, health officials said.
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