Grape, Cherry and On-the-Vine Tomatoes Not Subject to FDA Alert

Greenhouse Grower Reassures Foodservice Operators

San Antonio, Texas – June 9, 2008 – Desert Glory®, grower of NatureSweet® brand tomatoes, and the largest privately held greenhouse grower in North America is calling attention to the fact that grape, cherry and on-the-vine tomatoes are not subject to the June 1, 2008 Salmonella alert issued by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA). 

        In a letter addressed to its customers, Bryant Ambelang, Desert Glory Chief Marketing Officer reinforces the safety aspects of its greenhouse operations.  “All of our NatureSweet branded tomatoes are grown in a highly controlled greenhouse environment which allows us to regulate all aspects of tomato production and processing.”

Nurtured in a controlled greenhouse environment, NatureSweet Tomatoes are protected throughout the entire growing process.  The greenhouse provides a safe and secure barrier from birds, animal predators, pesticide dust from neighboring farms and harmful natural elements including contaminated water run off and air pollution. 

        Ambelang has indicated it is important that foodservice operators understand there is significant availability of cherry, grape and on-the-vine tomatoes.   At Desert Glory, food safety takes a top priority which is why the company invests in greenhouse operations, private wells, continual testing procedures and 100% product traceability.  Each case of NatureSweet® tomatoes is packed and shipped within the same day of harvesting and identified with an easy-to-read coding system that allows for thorough and immediate traceback to the greenhouse, packing line, and even to the hour that it was packed—within 2 hours.  And with eight distribution centers strategically located throughout the United States, NatureSweet® tomatoes will always be delivered fresh, ripe and above all—safe.

        “We absolutely insist that our customers can safely offer consumers the benefits of our best tasting tomatoes,” said Ambelang, “and if they have any questions about our safety practices, I encourage them to contact their Desert Glory representative or me at 210 408 8500.”

About Desert Glory®
Desert Glory, LTD, based in San Antonio, Texas, is the leading grower of premium small tomatoes in North America under the NatureSweet® brand.  Distributed throughout the U.S. at major foodservice operations, grocers and club stores, NatureSweet® tomatoes deliver the best tasting tomatoes with year-round availability.  As the number one brand of vine-ripened cherry tomatoes in the U.S., NatureSweet®’s growing operation comprises nearly 1,000 acres under greenhouse and proudly employs nearly 5,000 associates.

FDA Press Release June 3, 2008