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Mexican Peppers ID'd as Salmonella Culprits
Date:7/26/2008

Tainted jalapeno sample traced back to Mexican farm, FDA announces

FRIDAY, July 25 (HealthDay News) -- Almost a week after uncovering the first big clue in the nationwide salmonella outbreak, U.S. health officials announced Friday that tainted jalapeno peppers had been definitively traced to a farm in Mexico.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration gave the all-clear to jalapeno and serrano peppers grown in the United States, but warned consumers to avoid any raw jalapenos or serranos grown in Mexico or the foods made from them.

The FDA added, in a late-day advisory, "In addition to domestically grown raw jalapeno peppers, commercially canned, pickled and cooked jalapeno peppers from any and all geographic locations also are not connected with the current Salmonella saintpaul outbreak."

And it said, the FDA was "working with state regulatory agencies and food industry groups that represent restaurants, grocery chains and wholesalers to ensure everyone clearly understands this new, more narrow, advisory."

A sample of a Mexican-grown jalapeno tainted with Salmonella saintpaul was found at a packing plant in Mcallen, Texas, Dr. David Acheson, the FDA's associate commissioner for foods, had announced at a teleconference Monday.

It was the first break in a months-long search for the produce that produced bacteria that so far has sickened 1,294 people in the United States and Canada. And it turned the consumer eye away from raw tomatoes, which had been suspected as the source since the outbreak started in April.

"While this one sample doesn't give us the whole story, this genetic match is a very important break in the case," Acheson said on Monday. "This will ultimately, hopefully, allow us to pinpoint the source of the contamination, which has caused the outbreak."

On Friday, Acheson told the AP, "Domestically grown products are not tracing back at all to
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Mexican Peppers ID'd as Salmonella Culprits
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