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PITTSBURGH, Pa. - The tainted Roma tomatoes believed to have sickened more than 416 people in five states who ate at Sheetz convenience stores in early July have reportedly been traced to farms in Florida and possibly South Carolina.
Press reports said officials from the Food and Drug Administration are visiting farms in one state this week, but declined to be more specific.
Agriculture officials in the Sunshine State have been told that FDA investigators will arrive there next week as part of the ongoing salmonellosis investigation. However, a Florida Agriculture Department spokesperson said the FDA visit does not necessarily mean that's where the tainted tomatoes were grown.
FDA investigators said they would review the farms' operations and records, as well as conduct water tests, to determine further information about the outbreak. The investigation is expected to continue for at least two weeks, although the paper said it could be "several weeks to months" before the agency identifies the cause of the outbreak or farms.
Earlier this week, Pennsylvania health department officials said they believe a third, rare strain of salmonella bacteria may be linked to the Roma tomatoes that were served by the Altoona-based c-store chain.