Salmonella saintpaul Found in Irrigation Water on Farm in Mexico

Source of Article:  United Fresh Produce Association

July 31, 2008


Today during a U.S. House of Representatives Congressional hearing, Dr. David Acheson, FDA's Assistant Commissioner for Food Protection, announced that U.S. Food and Drug Administration investigators had discovered the Salmonella saintpaul strain in irrigation water and serrano peppers on a farm in Mexico, where jalapeno peppers are also grown.

According to Dr. Acheson, the farm where the contaminated water was found grows only jalapeno and serrano peppers.  It supplied a packing facility in Mexico that also did business with Agricola Zaragosa, the McAllen, Texas distributor where FDA inspectors found tainted jalapeno peppers last week.  The farm and the packing facility are located in Nuevo Leon, a state in northeastern Mexico.  A portion of Nuevo Leon borders Texas.  FDA is currently trying to determine if there is a connection between the sample from the farm that contained Salmonella saintpaul with the sample found last week in McAllen, Texas.

FDA also stated today they have not ruled out tomatoes as another possible source of the outbreak and continue to explain that this outbreak looks to be from multiple commodity sources.  However, FDA continues to advise that tomatoes and jalapeno peppers grown in the U.S. are safe to consume.

Consistent with FDA's advisory last week on jalapeno peppers grown in Mexico, FDA is now advising consumers to avoid consumption of raw serrano peppers and foods made with raw serrano peppers from Mexico until further notice.

As always, we will keep you updated as new information becomes available.  In the meantime, feel free to contact us:

Amy Philpott, Vice President, Communications, (202) 303-3400 ext. 425

Dr. David Gombas, Senior Vice President, Food Safety and Technology, (202) 303-3400 ext. 411




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