The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is closer to solving the mystery of a massive salmonella outbreak, thanks to the discovery of contaminated serrano peppers and irrigation water on a farm in Mexico.
Laboratory testing by the FDA has confirmed that both a sample of the pepper and water collected by agency investigators on a farm in the state of Nuevo Leon, Mexico, contain Salmonella Saintpaul with the same genetic fingerprint as the strain of bacteria that is causing the current outbreak in the United States. The findings were released today.
As a result, until further notice, the FDA is advising consumers to avoid raw serrano peppers from Mexico, in addition to raw jalapeo peppers from Mexico, and any foods that contain them.
The test results are part of the FDA's continuing intensive investigation into the outbreak of Salmonella Saintpaul. The investigation has involved tracing back, through complex distribution channels, the origins of products associated with clusters of illness in the United States, as well as inspections and evaluation of farms and facilities in this country and in Mexico, and the collection and testing of environmental and product samples. One of these tracebacks led to a packing facility in Mexico, and to a particular farm, where the agency obtained the samples.