Source of Article:† http://www.newsinferno.com/archives/3593
is denying blame for a massive Salmonella
outbreak that has sickened more than 1300 people in the U.S. The Food & Drug
Administration (FDA) has blamed that outbreak on jalapeno and Serrano
peppers from a farm in the Mexican state of Tamaulipas. But Mexican
officials said that their own tests of water and peppers on that farm have not
detected Salmonella bacteria.
Since April, Salmonella Saintpaul
has sickened 1,348 people in 43 states, the District of
Columbia, and Canada.
Salmonella bacteria cause an illness marked by fever, abdominal pain, nausea,
gas and bloody diarrhea. Symptoms appear within 36 hours of exposure, and
usually last four to seven days. In very severe cases, Salmonella can lead to
kidney failure and other complications. Salmonella can be particularly dangerous
for children, the elderly and people with weakened immune systems. Some victims
of Salmonella will develop a disease called Reiterís Syndrome, a difficult- to-
treat condition that causes severe joint pain, irritation of the eyes, and
painful urination. Reiterís Syndrome can plague its victims for months or
years, and can lead to chronic arthritis.
Initially, the outbreak was blamed on certain
varieties of raw tomatoes, but even after the tomatoes were taken off the
market, illnesses continued. In July, the FDA renewed efforts to find the
source of the Salmonella outbreak, and focused on raw peppers and other foods
served with raw tomatoes. The agency recently declared tomatoes safe, and
warned consumers to stay away from Mexican grown jalapenos. The warning
was later expanded to include Mexican-grown Serranos,
The FDA based that warning on tests it conducted at
a Mexican farm last month which detected Salmonella in a sample of peppers and
water used for irrigation. But Enrique Sanchez Cruz, head of Mexicoís agriculture and food safety agency said
last month in an interview that the samples U.S. officials said tested positive
for Salmonella came from a plot of land that had been harvested more than a
month ago and water that wasnít used for irrigation. The FDA is still
waiting for results from samples taken from a separate jalapeno pepper farm.
Sanchez said Mexicoís
tests showed no signs of contamination at either farm.
For now, the FDA is standing by its tests. But
Sanchez says his agency wants to sit down with the FDA to compare tests and
samples that the two countries have collected.