U.S. narrows salmonella warning to Mexican jalapenos
Source of Article: http://www.chiroeco.com/chiropractic/news/5204/782/U.S.-narrows-salmonella-warning-to-Mexican-jalapenos/
(Reuters) - U.S. health officials urged consumers on Friday to avoid only
raw jalapeno peppers from Mexico, narrowing an earlier warning against
eating any fresh jalapenos amid an outbreak of salmonella illness.
and Drug Administration now believes jalapeno and serrano peppers grown in
the United States are not connected to the nearly 1,300 salmonella cases
reported since April, Dr. David Acheson, FDA associate commissioner for foods,
told Reuters in an interview.
seeking the source of the outbreak have been probing clusters of illnesses
in various locations.
the ones we have been looking at have been traced back to Mexico,"
are trying to pinpoint a particular region or farm as the source of the
contamination, which came from a strain known as Salmonella stpaul, he
had focused early in the probe on tomatoes as a possible culprit. Last
week, regulators lifted their warning on tomatoes not because they were
cleared from suspicion, but because any that could have been contaminated
would have spoiled and been discarded by that time.
data does not exonerate tomatoes at this point," Dr. Ian Williams of
the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said.
Sanchez, the director of Mexico's National Sanitation and Farm Food Quality
Service, called the decision "arbitrary" and said it could have
an "enormous" harmful impact on the local jalapeno industry.
is taking a decision without scientific proof," Sanchez told Reuters.
"In Mexico there is no outbreak reported by the health ministry that
indicates, not even suspiciously, that there is a salmonella outbreak in
officials will conduct their own investigation, said Marco Antonio
Sifuentes, a spokesman for
the Mexican agriculture ministry. Mexico says the Salmonella
stpaul strain has not been detected in the country.
have said it so many times that we're tired of repeating it. There does not
exist one single case of Salmonella stpaul in Mexico," Sifuentes said.
agriculture ministry said it has seen no scientific evidence from U.S.
authorities that the tainted jalapenos originated in Mexico.
the case of tomatoes, the FDA made a serious error. Now they are committing
another big mistake because of their incompetence," Sifuentes said.
Acheson said U.S. officials were working closely with Mexican authorities
on the investigation.
safety experts say finding the outbreak's source has been difficult because
people had trouble recalling what they had eaten before they became ill and
the produce had been discarded by the time inspectors could follow up.
peppers have also been scrutinized as a possible source. The FDA still
advises the elderly and people with weak immune systems to avoid eating raw
serrano peppers from Mexico, Acheson said.
the FDA said a single jalapeno pepper at a Texas distributor was
contaminated with the strain of salmonella detected in the outbreak. That
pepper originated in Mexico. The FDA said on Friday it had determined the
contamination did not originate at the Texas distributor.
salmonella illness was reported to have occurred on July 10, bringing the
total to 1,294, Williams said.
been reported in 43 states, the District of Columbia and Canada, and 242
people have been hospitalized.
poisoning, which causes diarrhea, fever and abdominal cramps is very
common, with 40,000 cases and 400 deaths each year in the United States