Can I use tomatoes from flood area?

Asked September 28, 2013, 6:19 PM EDT

Are tomatoes which were in the flood area of South Boulder edible if they are blanched, skinned, and then pressured canned??

Boulder County Colorado

1 Response

Unfortunately, the FDA recommends that any produce that come in direct contact with flooded water be discarded and not consumed in any way. The following link from OSU explains in detail: http://ohioline.osu.edu/anr-fact/pdf/0027.pdf. The assumption is that the produce likely came in contact with pathogens from sewage or animal manure and possibly chemical or physical contaminants. For some produce (like beet or winter squash) there are recommendations for bleach disinfectant- but in the case of tomatoes, this would not be advised. I know it is disappointing to enjoy your gardening efforts-but it is the sad situation at this time. For links to flood resources, please visit the CSU Extension website at www.ext.colostate.edu.
Thanks for using eXtension.