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Wednesday, June 11, 2008
If you following the news at all you will know we are in the middle of a tomato crisis with a Salmonella outbreak. My poll question this week is pretty simple. “Do you feel the FDA is handling the Tomato/Salmonella problem correctly?”
Attack Of The Tainted Tomatoes?


Adam Kirk

@ June 9, 2008


You may have seen the signs at First Coast restaurants this weekend warning you about tainted tomatoes. Raw tomatoes are seen as the likely source of a recent multi-state outbreak of Salmonella Saintpaul. Although the specific type and source of tomatoes is not known, it's believed large tomatoes, including Roma and round red are to blame. Since mid-April, 145 people, in 16 states, have been infected with the the Salmonella strain. No deaths have been reported, but at least 23 people have been hospitalized. The Centers For Disease Control and Prevention, which is investigating, believes there are more cases than have been reported. You may have seen the signs at First Coast restaurants this weekend, warning you about tainted tomatoes.

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Harold Thinks! There are many stories available in the news about the Salmonella problem in tomatoes. I chose this story because it is an example of how this scare has spread across the country with out any real facts just catchy headlines, no substance, and puts all tomatoes in a very bad light. I started following the story when I saw a small article early last week with the problem being just in Texas and New Mexico. I have posted several of those articles on the produce news section of Now it is a full blown crisis and still no real information. The FDA recommends cooking your tomatoes. I don’t know about you but I find it hard to slice cooked tomatoes for my sandwiches and salads. I have friends involved in the tomato industry so I don’t generally brag about my back yard garden being loaded with fresh tomatoes but they are now coming in pretty handy. If they don’t get this issue resolved quickly I may be taking tomatoes with me to add to my sandwich and salads when I eat out. It is a serious issue and now you have my simple insight. If you want a more of a professional look at the problem go to Jim Prevor’s Perishable Pundit for the latest tomatoes news and his take on how the FDA is handling the problem.

Picky robots may someday pick fruit

By Allison Bruce

Sunday, June 8, 2008

They already are an important part of industry, from building solar modules to assembling cars, but in the coming years robots could be picking produce in groves and fields. Tech devices are expected to someday replace people who harvest crops — if the challenges can be solved, particularly when it comes to fruit. Fruit has to be picked in ways that won't damage the skin and at the right time of ripeness. "Appearance matters," said Dave Kranz, of the California Farm Bureau. People go into the store and "oftentimes buy with their eyes." For something like strawberries — Ventura County's top crop — the delicate picking process requires a trained eye and hand. Robots have been too vision-impaired and ham-fisted in the past to do it successfully. But new technology is moving robotic harvesting closer to reality for some crops, and others, even those fragile strawberries, are being researched

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Harold Thinks! You shouldn’t miss reading this article if your interested in future technology in our industry. It is well written and go into some detail about what is being done and the side effect of technology. I enjoyed the read and I am sure you will as well.
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