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Study pits bacteria against salmonella in tomatoes

Federal food safety scientists are waging biological warfare to combat salmonella in tomatoes.

Scientists with the Food and Drug Administration's Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition are studying naturally occurring bacteria that can fight the bacteria that causes salmonella and to keep tomatoes free from contracting the pathogen that causes the foodborne illness.

After attending a 2007 FDA meeting on tomato food safety, Eric Brown, an FDA microbiologist, said agency scientists decided they needed to develop ecologically friendly and efficient intervention strategies that would benefit growers.

“We really have a new and open area for food safety,” Brown said. “No one has really applied this premise to foodborne illnesses, particularly salmonella for tomatoes in the field.”

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