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Is it safe to eat tomatoes with scars that may be from squirrels "molesting" my fruit?
I am gardening in an area of the city where there seems to be a gang of marauding squirrels. We can hear them chattering away in the morning, and then they come in and raid the garden after we have left. So I have come to suspect every scratch, scar, and blemish as coming from squirrel paws or teeth. Don't know if that's true, but we find the usual 'one bite taken' tomatoes on the ground. Folks that I have consulted with all agree that it is impossible to stop squirrels, although we think that having a neighbor's cat visit our garden regularly might discourage the bushy-tailed beasties.
Main questions are: can the squirrels impart any disease to the tomatoes? Are healed-over scars, from any reason, a sign to not eat? When are tomatoes safe, especially when they are not perfect? When might they not be safe?
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