FDA investigator finally found salmonella in one of the thousands of samples it had tested following a huge nationwide outbreak. It was not found on a tomato however, the initial focus of the investigation. Instead it was found on a jalepeno pepper that was processed in a Texas plant and came from Mexico. Florida’s tomato growers have suffered a huge loss to this growing season as their tomatoes were under the heaviest suspicion.
The wholesaler that processed the contaminated pepper, Agricola Zaragoza in McAllen, Texas, has recalled all its pepper shipments as a result of the FDA’s findings. And restaurants, grocery stores and other food services have been notified of the FDA’s stepped-up warning against the fresh peppers as well as fresh salsa or sauces that use jalapenos as ingredients.
The FDA has issued an advisory against eating raw jalepenos. Those that have been cooked or pickled should be fine. The rare Saintpaul stain of salmonella has sickened more than 1,000 people around the country. Many people that fell ill at the beginning reported that they had eaten something with raw tomatoes.