Reporter Staff Report
The United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Center for Disease Control (CDC) continue to investigate the cause of the Salmonella outbreak.
Warnings and recalls were originally issued for tomatoes, but new warnings target jalapeno peppers. The FDA has indicated that tomatoes on the market today are safe to eat.
The FDA is advising consumers to avoid raw jalapeno peppers and foods that contain them if they were grown, harvested or packed in Mexico. Jalapeno and serrano peppers grown in the United States are not connected with this outbreak. Commercially canned, pickled and cooked jalapeno peppers are also not connected.
Officials continue to advise persons in high-risk populations, such as the elderly, infants and those with impaired immune systems to avoid eating raw serrano peppers from Mexico of food made from the peppers until further notice.
An FDA laboratory linked a jalapeno pepper from a McAllen, Texas distribution center to the recent outbreak. The distributor is working with officials to recall contaminated products in the United States. The peppers in question were grown in Mexico, but investigators are still uncertain how the peppers became contaminated.
Since April 1,307 cases of Salmonella have been confirmed, 495 of those are in Texas. Officials believe the infection may be to blame for deaths that occurred in Texas as well.
The outbreak appears to be ongoing, however fewer cases are being reported. Officials believe some cases may go unreported.