Tips for buying fresh produce: Ask, hope, pray

Five people who got sick from salmonella this month ate at the same McDowell County restaurant, O’Dear’s Country Diner on U.S. 221 in Marion, North Carolina, but the cases do not appear linked to the ongoing Salmonella-in-tomatoes outbreak.

The restaurant was voluntarily closed Thursday, cleaned Saturday under the supervision of health department specialists, and plans to reopen Monday.

Marion restaurant owner Bob Gaddy said he had not heard about the salmonella problems. He and his brother, Mack, have run Harvest Drive-In for 35 years. Like O’Dear, Gaddy makes a point of buying tomatoes and produce from somewhere he thinks is safe, but said it’s tough to know.

"You ask. But you also hope and pray.”