Due to the possible presence of salmonella bacteria in some tomatoes, Waste Management and Cedar Grove Composting of Maple Valley are requesting that all residential and business customers put suspect tomatoes and suspect raw tomato products such as salsa in the garbage, not in curbside yard/food carts or in home composting bins or worm bins.
“We ask that customers take this cautionary step and share this advisory with their neighbors and co-workers,” said Rita Smith, Community Education and Sustainability Coordinator for Waste Management NW, in a press release.
Waste Management and Cedar Grove Composting are issuing this advisory in compliance with the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), which mandates that contaminated produce go into the trash.
“Although our process breaks down salmonella, if there are recalls or warnings on food items, our policy is to follow USDA guidelines,” said Susan Thoman, Director of Business Development and Marketing for Cedar Grove Composting.
Anyone utilizing their own backyard compost or worm bin is encouraged to follow this same advisory and to put tomatoes suspected of being contaminated with salmonella in the trash, according to officials.
For more information about the nationwide salmonella outbreak affecting fresh tomatoes, visit the FDA web site at http://www.fda.gov/oc/opacom/hottopics/tomatoes.html.