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Jalapeno Peppers Suspected in Salmonella Outbreak

Posted by Chrissie Cole
Monday, July 07, 2008 2:12 PM EST
Category: Major Medical
Tags: Foodborne Illness, FDA and Prescription Drugs, Toxic Substances, Salmonella


IMAGE SOURCE: Food and Drug Administration/ Red Plum, Red Round tomatoes/author: FDA images

In another attempt to locate the source of the salmonella outbreak that has sickened hundreds across the United States since April, U.S. health officials are probing jalapeno peppers from Mexico.

Officials originally believed tomatoes were the source of the outbreak, but because the exact cause of the bacteria is yet to be identified, health officials are now expanding their reach to include jalapeno peppers and cilantro, although officials believe the herb is less likely to be the source.

There have been nearly 950 reported cases of salmonella food poisoning cases nationwide since mid-April, according to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

At least 130 of those cases have required hospitalization. No deaths have been reported.

Mexico contends that there is no evidence that the salmonella outbreak in the United States can be traced back to Mexican produce.

The FDA is currently in Mexico gathering soil, product and water samples from a series of locations to verify Mexico claims that salmonella is not present there.

Salmonella Saintpaul is a rare strain of salmonella, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. On average the CDC reports about 400 cases of Saintpaul infections each year.

General symptoms of salmonella poisoning include fever, abdominal pain and diarrhea. Symptoms may not show up until three days after eating food infected with the bacteria. #

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