In a food contamination mystery that stretched throughout the spring and summer, more than 1,300 people in 43 states, the District of Colombia and Canada were sickened in what has been called the largest food-borne outbreak in the last decade, surpassing the almost 700 salmonella cases from contaminated peanut butter in late 2006. Initially, the Food and Drug Administration blamed the outbreak on raw tomatoes -- particularly the red round, plum and Roma varieties -- and banned them from supermarket shelves and restaurant menus around the country. Perhaps the biggest obstacle to solving the mystery has been the way in which the suspected foods are sold. With unfortunate events like this, Americans are becoming aware that food safety and national security are synonymous, said Rep. Tim Mahoney (D-FL).
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