Sunday, July 6, 2008

I Think It's the Salsa

As mentioned in this and this post, the North American Salmonella outbreak is confounding FDA investigators. They are scouring fields, packing and shipping facilities; taking samples of water, soil and fruit. Still, there is no smoking gun...

But the U.S. Food and Drug Administration appears no closer to finding the source of a mysterious salmonella outbreak that has sickened more than 900 people nationwide.

The FDA is not even 100 percent sure that tomatoes are the cause — adding peppers and cilantro Saturday to its list of foods under investigation in the outbreak.

Due to FDA halting tomato shipments and since many restaurants have simply stopped serving them altogether, the bottom has dropped out of the market. In both U.S. and Mexico, tomato growers are losing many millions of dollars as their crops sit to rot in fields or warehouses. Now this concern will no doubt spread to the pepper and herb growers as well.

And for those who forgot the cause for the alarm:
Salmonella can be transmitted to humans when fecal material from animals or humans contaminates food. Fever, diarrhea and abdominal cramps typically start eight to 48 hours after infection and can last a week. Many people recover without treatment. But severe infection and death are possible. At least 130 people have been hospitalized in this outbreak, the CDC says.
Mmmm. I wish the FDA inspectors the best of luck in this tricky and expanding situation.

1 comment:

Chief said...

More tomato info

I pledge to continue to scour the web and post new information on this story until they solve the mystery...or until it just goes away, whichever comes first.