If one suspects fusarium wilt in almost ripened cherry tomato plants, is it...

Asked August 10, 2018, 8:58 AM EDT

If one suspects fusarium wilt in almost ripened cherry tomato plants, is it ok to eat the tomatoes? I dry them, grind them and use them for flavoring. Thanks.

Athens County Ohio

1 Response

Thoughtful question! I found information about fusarium wilt at https://extension.umd.edu/hgic/fusarium-wilt-tomato-vegetables . I hope it will help you identify the problem with your cherry tomato crop. Regarding food safety using food preservation for produce gathered from a diseased plant. I received the following information from Joe Boggs, OSU Horticulture Specialist-

" Yes, it’s perfectly OK to eat the tomatoes. Fusarium is a plant fungus not an animal pathogen; it can only infect plant tissue. In fact, because Fusarium wilt clogs the tomato plant’s vascular systems, it reduces water flowing into the fruit which can elevate the sugars making the fruit sweeter. Unfortunately, this is a very short-lived benefit because the wilt typically progresses so quickly many of the green tomatoes fail to reach mature size and do not ripen before they die on the vine. Also, the sweetened ripe fruit is subject to rapid rot on the vine so she will need to harvest them quickly!"

I have included another link to reliable information for drying vegetables. Please follow the rules for selection of produce for food preservation as outlined by USDA resources.