Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Update on salmonella outbreak

Vernon Rhea, director of food services at Fauquier Health, oversees the Bistro on the Hill. Responsible for providing meals for patients and visitors, he has been monitoring the ongoing salmonella investigation since it was first announced that tomatoes were suspected of making people ill.
Tomatoes have since been cleared, but today Vernon reported that, "the FDA (Federal Drug Administration) and CDC (Centers for Disease Control) announced today they have found jalapeno peppers at a produce wholesaler that tested positive for Salmonella Saintpaul. As a result, the public is advised not to consume fresh jalapenos regardless of source, and restaurants and grocery stores are advised not to stock or serve them. While the jalapenos were grown in Mexico, it is unknown if the contamination occurred at the farm, the processor, the shipper, or the wholesaler (where the FDA found the tainted pepper).

"Canned or pickled jalapeno peppers are still considered safe to eat.

"More than 1,200 individuals have been sickened over the last several months by a strain of Salmonella Saintpaul, a relatively rare strain in the U.S.

"For the safety of our customers, Fauquier Health will not be serving fresh jalapeno peppers until FDA and CDC announce fresh jalapeno peppers are cleared from contamination."

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