Health Highlights: June 9, 2008

Here are some of the latest health and medical news developments, compiled by editors of HealthDay:

U.S. Restaurant Chains Stop Serving Some Tomatoes

McDonald's, Burger King and a number of other restaurant chains announced Monday that they were suspending the use of certain fresh tomatoes until they learn the source of a recent nationwide salmonella outbreak.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration warned consumers nationwide over the weekend not to eat raw red Roma, raw red plum, and raw red round tomatoes while the agency investigates the source of 145 recent cases of "Saintpaul" salmonella in 16 states that appear linked to uncooked tomatoes, the Associated Press reported.

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At least 23 people have been hospitalized since April. The FDA says it doesn't know the exact source of the salmonella outbreak. But it has said that cherry tomatoes, grape tomatoes and tomatoes sold with the vine attached are believed safe to eat.

McDonald's said it stopped serving tomatoes on all of its sandwiches in the United States, while Burger King said it halted use of raw tomatoes at most of its domestic locations, except for certain restaurants in California that are serviced by growers known to be safe, the AP said.

In addition, the Chipotle Mexican Grill chain said it would stop serving its tomato salsa, and Texas Roadhouse locations and Cracker Barrel Old Country stores said they also would stop dispensing tomatoes with salads and other foods.

Regional grocer Winn-Dixie said it would remove affected tomatoes from its more than 500 stores in Florida, Alabama, Louisiana, Georgia and Mississippi, the AP said.


Kennedy Leaves Hospital After Brain Surgery

One week after he underwent surgery for brain cancer, Sen. Edward M. Kennedy was released Monday from Duke University Medical Center and returned to his home in Hyannisport on Cape Cod, the Associated Press reported.

"It's good to be home, good to be here," the wire service quoted him as saying.

Last month, Kennedy was diagnosed with a malignant glioma brain tumor after he suffered a seizure. Last Monday, he had a 3.5-hour operation to remove as much of the tumor as possible to improve the success of chemotherapy and radiation treatment that he will undergo.

About 9,000 Americans have malignant gliomas diagnosed each year, the AP said. It's among the worst types of brain cancer.


U.S. Supreme Court Takes Third Look at Judgment Against Cigarette Maker

The U.S. Supreme Court will review a $79.5 million punitive judgment against Marlboro-maker Philip Morris for a third time, the Associated Press reported Monday.

On two previous occasions, the Supreme Court has struck down the award to the family of a Portland, Ore. man who died of lung cancer in 1997 after smoking Marlboro cigarettes since the 1950s.

But Oregon courts have repeatedly upheld the judgment against cigarette maker Philip Morris USA.

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