At a news conference Friday, representatives of the FDA and the CDC were more forceful in saying that they aren't sure tainted tomatoes caused the outbreak of salmonella saintpaul, a fairly rare strain. Previous statements had been more vague.
Over the weekend, the tide of opinion among epidemiologists, produce companies and food safety officials also began to turn in that direction.
Tomatoes couldn't have caused an outbreak that has stretched from early April to late June, says Jim Prevor, editor of Produce Business magazine. "There's not a field in the world" that produces that long, he says.
No new smoking vegetable has been implicated.