Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Mexican peppers posed problem long before outbreak Federal inspectors at U.S. border crossings repeatedly turned back filthy, disease-ridden shipments of peppers from Mexico in the months before a salmonella outbreak that sickened 1,400 people was finally traced to Mexican chilies. Yet no larger action was taken. Food and Drug Administration officials insisted as recently as last week that they were surprised by the outbreak because Mexican peppers had not been spotted as a problem before. But an Associated Press analysis of FDA records found that peppers and chilies were consistently the top Mexican crop rejected by border inspectors for the last year. Since January alone, 88 shipments of fresh and dried chilies were turned away. Ten percent were contaminated with salmonella. In the last year, 8 percent of the 158 intercepted shipments of fresh and dried chilies had salmonella....

2 comments:

Steve said...

Sigh. Trace back in tomatoes and peppers and lettuce, etc. is impeccable these days. It took months to find anything becasue there was nothing to find.

There are 1.4 MILLION cases of Salmonella annualy according to the CDC... That is over 100,000 cases a month...the 800 cases in several months is way less than 1%. The real likelyhood is that this is a natural incidence of this strain, but now we are able to better ID it, and since we can id it, now someone has to be responsible. Soon we will be trying to track which office building is responsible for the common cold which 552 people caught...

The Westerner said...

Thanks, that puts it in perspective.