The FDA is warning Americans not to eat fresh jalapeno peppers or products containing fresh jalapenos, including many kinds of salsa, pico de gallo and guacamole. They're now the prime suspect in the Salmonella Saintpaul outbreak, which has sickened 1,251 people in 43 states, Washington, D.C., and Canada from April on.
A single jalapeno was found to be contaminated with the salmonella strain in a produce distribution center in McAllen, Texas, called Agricola Zaragoza. Though the pepper was grown in Mexico, the FDA warns that it could have picked up salmonella anywhere along the way. Agricola Zaragoza is voluntarily recalling jalapenos distributed since June 30, 2008.
But there are still almost certainly salmonella-carrying peppers out there, so the FDA is asking people to avoid all raw jalapenos until further notice. Cooked and pickled peppers should be fine. The elderly, infants, and those with compromised immune systems should avoid raw serrano peppers as well.
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