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FDA Updated Warning Regarding Salmonella Saintpaul Outbreak Now Includes Raw Jalapeno and Serrano Peppers
FDA is updating its warning to consumers nationwide concerning the outbreak of Salmonella serotype Saintpaul. Although epidemiological and other evidence continues to have a strong association with certain raw tomatoes, a recent case control study and disease cluster information provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) indicate that not only tomatoes, but also raw jalapeno and serrano peppers may be linked to illnesses in this continuing outbreak.
At this time, the FDA is advising people in high risk populations such as elderly persons, infants and people with impaired immune systems to avoid eating raw jalapeno and raw serrano peppers.
In addition, the FDA continues to advise consumers to avoid eating raw red plum, red Roma, or red round tomatoes except for those grown in the areas listed on the safe list. Tomatoes grown in those areas have not been associated with the outbreak.
Types of tomatoes not associated with this outbreak include cherry tomatoes, grape tomatoes, tomatoes sold with the vine still attached, and tomatoes grown at home.
The department also reminds managers of food establishments that employees who are experiencing symptoms of gastrointestinal illness should not be allowed to handle food. In addition, workers in the food industry should wash their hands frequently.
Most people infected with Salmonella develop diarrhea, fever and abdominal cramps between 12 and 72 hours after infection. The illness usually lasts four to seven days, and most people recover without treatment. Some people may need to be hospitalized due to symptoms of severe diarrhea. The elderly, infants, and those with impaired immune systems are more likely to have a severe illness related to the outbreak.
The FDA has also updated their website with more information on the Salmonella Saintpaul outbreak:
FDA further recommends that retailers, restaurateurs, and food service operators continue to offer cherry tomatoes, grape tomatoes, and tomatoes sold with the vine still attached, from any source.
The New Mexico Restaurant Association’s mission is to empower the food and beverage industry by promoting and protecting common values and interests. It has more than 1,000 members in 111 cities all over New Mexico, who join together for meetings, seminars and the hospitality industry awards to honor the industry’s top achievers. It has actively represented and promoted the food service industry in New Mexico since 1946.