Jul 31, 2008 | 2
Peppers were apparently the perps in the salmonella outbreak that sickened some 1,300 people in the U.S. and Canada since April. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced that it traced the responsible bacterial strain—Salmonella Saintpaul—to a Serrano pepper grown on a Mexican farm that irrigated its fields with water contaminated with it.
The farm is located in Nuevo Leon, in northeastern Mexico, about 100 miles southwest of McAllen, Tex., where authorities last week found a salmonella-tainted jalapeño at a packing plant owned by Agricola Zarigosa. It traced that pepper back to a farm in Mexican state of Tamaulipas.
Jul 18, 2008 | 3
The Food and Drug Administration this week gave the all-clear to tomatoes but warned that some varieties of hot peppers were still suspect in a salmonella outbreak that has sickened 1,200 people in some 40 states and Canada. This news came as a relief to the beleaguered tomato industry, which was considered an early culprit in the scare that left victims with symptoms including diarrhea, vomiting and fevers. The FDA in early June warned consumers to avoid certain varieties of tomatoes, which reportedly cost the industry $100 million in lost sales even though investigators failed to find salmonella on any farms they checked. The FDA and U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention added jalapeño and serrano peppers as well as cilantro to the list of possible salmonella sources last week. These foods have not yet been cleared, although, so far, they have only recommended that vulnerable populations—infants, elderly persons and individuals with compromised immune systems—avoid them. According to the FDA, investigators have zeroed in on a pepper-packing outfit in Mexico that it believes may be responsible for at least a portion of the outbreak. The initial source of the contamination, however, has not been identified.
(Image: © iStockphoto/Skip ODonnell)
Jul 11, 2008 | 3
Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) officials are now investigating whether jalapeño peppers (as well as closely related serrano peppers) may be linked to a nationwide salmonella outbreak first reported in April. Until now, tomatoes were the prime suspects in the largest U.S. food-borne outbreak in the past decade. More than 1,000 people have been affected in more than 40 states and in Canada. Salmonella poisoning causes diarrhea, vomiting, body aches and fever; it is most dangerous in infants, the elderly and people with compromised immune systems. During a news conference yesterday, officials said they believe that both peppers and tomatoes are culprits and that they are trying to pinpoint the source, such as farms that grew both crops. For updates and a list of foods to avoid, check out the FDA's Web site.
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