Salmonella Hurting Peppers Too

Mexican farmers are seeing a decrease in sales of jalapeño peppers due to the fear surrounding salmonella and tomatoes. Julie Schmit of USA TODAY explains:
"If this goes on for two more weeks, there's a strong likelihood you won't get a jalapeño in your burrito," says Will Steele, CEO of a leading pepper importer, Frontera Produce of Edinburg, Texas.

Frontera is still shipping peppers, but some importers have stopped, saying the tests take so long that peppers rot in the warehouse. Wholesale prices have doubled as grocers and restaurants pursue limited supplies from Southeastern growers…

…Hot peppers are suspected sources of a salmonella outbreak that has sickened 1,090 people in the USA.

The Food and Drug Administration last week advised high-risk consumers, such as the young and old, to avoid fresh jalapeño and serrano peppers. The FDA first linked the outbreak in June to some types of raw tomatoes, which are still suspects.
See, everyone suffers when food regulations aren’t up to snuff.
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LolaBloom - July 15, 2008 3:55 PM

I'm still really amazed that the underlying cause never seems to be on the radar. Salmonella isn't natural to fruits and vegetables, the source of contamination isn't the pepper or tomato itself, it's because they have been somehow contaminated.

From the USDA's Food Safety Inspection Service: "They are microscopic living creatures that pass from the feces of people or animals to other people or other animals."

When is anyone going to address that? People are running in circles and still never addressing the real issue. The articles I keep reading claim that the actual pepper or tomato are the "source of the contamination" but that's not at all accurate. I think people would put up a big stink if they realized that no, the tomato itself is fine, it is the feces-laden water it was watered with that was the problem. Maybe then we could fix the root cause and drive for more regulation of the farming practices themselves. I'm sticking with my tomato farm next to feedlot theory ;)

Mountain Mike - July 15, 2008 7:48 PM

The other thing is, salmonella can be cleaned from food....the news reports never inform consumers on how to clean food that they are unsure about.

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