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Published April 15, 2010, 04:43 PM

Florida tomato safety bill going to Crist

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — Florida Gov. Charlie Crist is getting a bill designed to ensure the safety of Florida-grown tomatoes following a false salmonella scare nearly two years ago.

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — Florida Gov. Charlie Crist is getting a bill designed to ensure the safety of Florida-grown tomatoes following a false salmonella scare nearly two years ago.

The measure (SB 350) received final passage in the House on Thursday.

It would set minimum safety standards and authorize the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services to inspect farms, greenhouse and packing facilities.

Florida produces between 40 and 50 percent of the nation’s fresh tomato supply.

Federal investigators in 2008 focused on tomatoes after a salmonella outbreak but found none to be contaminated. The probe then shifted to peppers from Mexico.

The bill passed unanimously in the House after a prior 35-1 vote in the Senate.

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