Salmonella Found In Hot Peppers, Avocados Imported By South Texas Company


by Bob Dunn

1 day ago 


Source of Article:


Health department have discovered Salmonella in hot peppers and avocados imported and distributed by a South Texas company.

According to a statement by the Texas Department of State Health Services, the strain of Salmonella discovered in the peppers and avocados is not the strain responsible for a nationwide outbreak of the bacterial infection over the past three months.

Texas and North Carolina health officials found Salmonella "Group C1" in jalapenos, serranos and avocados distributed by Grande Produce, of Hidalgo.

The strain responsible for the national outbreak is Salmonella Saintpaul, and has sickened more than 1,000 people, including 408 from Texas, eight of which are from Fort Bend County.

Meanwhile, Reuters quoted an FDA official as saying the Saintpaul strain was found in a single jalapeno at a different South Texas produce distributor - Agricola Zargosa, in McAllen.

Dr. David Acheson, FDA associate commissioner for foods, told the news service it isn't clear whether the pepper was contaminated at the farm where it was picked, at the distribution center or somewhere in between.

The Texas health department said both it and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration are overseeing a recall of Grande Produce peppers and avocado.

"DSHS and FDA are working to identify where the avocados, serranos and jalapenos from Grande were shipped and where and how the recalled produce was contaminated," the Texas department said in a statement. "The company's clients are being notified to pull the products."

It was not immediately clear whether any of those clients include grocery stores or restaurants in Fort Bend County.

Salmonella in Grande's produce was detected separately at Texas and North Carolina health department labs. Grande's serrano and jalapeno peppers were the first of about 70 food products examined by the Texas department recently that tested positive for Salmonella.

The North Carolina lab found Salmonella in avocados and jalapenos from Grande.

Ironically, news about the contaminated peppers and avocado comes immediately after the FDS lifted a warning against eating uncooked tomatoes.

However, even while the agency cleared tomatoes as no longer being a threat in the Salmonella outbreak, the FDA warned that at-risk groups including infants, the elderly and people with weak immune systems should avoid jalapeno and serrano peppers.

Until the Texas health department issued its statement, little or no public information had been made available about possible sources of contaminated peppers.


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