Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Salmonella Food Safety Statement on Jalapenos

In light of the recent announcement from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regarding a Mexican-grown jalapeno pepper testing positive with Salmonella Saintpaul it is important to note that all reports indicate Texas-grown jalapenos are safe to eat.

In 2007, Texas harvested 4,500 acres, or 17 million pounds, of chile peppers, the majority being jalapenos. Most farms that grow jalapenos are in Hudspeth and Hidalgo counties.

While the jalapeno sample was obtained at a produce distribution center in McAllen, there is still no evidence to suggest the contamination occurred in Texas.

The process for tracking down the origin of the Salmonella Saintpaul contamination has been a long, daunting and frankly, frustrating process for all.
I share in this frustration.

In the meantime, Texans can be assured that we continue to enjoy the safest food supply in the world.

Our food safety system in the United States is an effective web of firewalls that complement and support each other ensuring safety from food-borne pathogens. In the rare instance when a safeguard is compromised, there are other defenses that are automatically triggered to protect consumers.

Consumers should always properly wash and prepare all food items, as this is a basic part of family food safety.

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