Tomato salmonella outbreak: Florida sales plummet - The Packer

Tomato salmonella outbreak: Florida sales plummet

06/27/2008 02:00:00 AM

By Doug Ohlemeier
 
Palmetto-based Taylor & Fulton Packing LLC in mid- to late June normally would have sold 30,000 to 40,000 25-pound cartons of loose mature-greens daily.

Instead, the company sold only 160 boxes on June 24 said partner Ed Angrisani.

"Is that incredible?" he asks. "This is a nationwide problem. There is an incredible amount of collateral damage, and I don't think people understand the ramifications yet."

Tomato movement remained at a near standstill in late June in Palmetto-Ruskin packinghouses as the unresolved salmonella outbreak forced many packers to hold boxes of tomatoes in their coolers. Most operations had finished their spring central Florida seasonal packing and had transitioned to northern Florida, Georgia or South Carolina growing regions.

Despite the Food & Drug Administration's clearing of central Florida production, many businesses remained idle in late June.

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