Thursday, August 28, 2008

CDC/FDA say salmonella outbreak is over

Today the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced the Salmonella Saintpaul outbreak has ended, citing the number of new cases reported has significantly dropped since July.

To date this salmonella strain has sickened 1,442, people and hospitalized 286, in more than 40 states.

With evidence suggesting the outbreak is over, FDA lifted its advice to consumers to avoid eating Mexican-grown jalapenos, which they cited as the major source for the illnesses, and Serrano peppers. FDA also stated they still believe the Salmonella Saintpaul outbreak was initially connected with tomatoes, calling this outbreak one associated with “multiple raw produce.”

In addition, the CDC released a summary of this outbreak and their findings in their Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

FDA officials said they have learned a lot from this outbreak and believe their Food Protection Plan provides direction on how to enhance prevention and improve response to future outbreaks.

Although the Texas Department of Agriculture does not have a regulatory role in managing food-borne illnesses, it is critical Texas and the federal government work together to try to minimize such outbreaks. I look forward to working with the agriculture industry and regulators to a develop an efficient plan of action.

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