Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Update on Salmonella Outbreak

I wanted to update my fellow Texans on the salmonella Saintpaul outbreak that continues to grow. Hot peppers have now been added to the investigation as a possible source, but tomatoes have not been ruled out as being contaminated with salmonella.

Officials with the Food and Drug Administration and the Centers for Disease Control say the source of the outbreak has not yet been detected, and people are still reporting illnesses. The outbreak has sickened more than 1000 people, making it one of the most serious outbreaks in years.

Investigators are looking into whether or not the contamination comes from a farm or packing house that handles different types of produce.

At this point in time, the FDA is not asking peppers to be pulled from stores or restaurants.

In order to protect yourself from getting sick, people with impaired immune systems, the elderly, and infants should avoid raw jalapeno and raw Serrano peppers. Raw tomatoes grown in Texas are still safe to eat. Tomatoes still on the vine, grape and cherry tomatoes are also considered safe.

For more details on the outbreak visit the FDA’s Web site. They update the site as any new information about salmonella becomes available.

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