The FDA announced yesterday that one jalapeño pepper is a positive genetic match with the salmonella strain causing the current outbreak.
The sample came from Agricola Zaragoza, a produce distribution center in McAllen, Texas. The pepper was grown on a farm in Mexico, but this doesn’t necessarily mean it was contaminated there. Agricola Zaragoza is voluntarily recalling jalapeño peppers it has distributed since June 30.
While the recall will not immediately remove all potentially contaminated peppers from our food supply, the FDA urges consumers to avoid eating raw jalapeño peppers or foods made from them until further notice. This recommendation does not include pickled jalapeños or those found in cooked products available for purchase.
Those in high-risk populations (the elderly, infants and people with impaired immune systems) should also avoid eating raw serrano peppers or foods made from them, until further notice.
The FDA is investigating other parts of the distribution chain to determine if there’s any evidence that contamination occurred on the Mexican farm before the peppers reached Agricola Zaragoza. Fresh produce can change hands frequently from farm to table, and contamination could have occurred at any point.
The FDA emphasizes the outbreak has likely peaked, but cases of salmonella continue to be reported.
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Photos courtesy of the FDA