Stronger Warning placed on Jalapeños
Still, "this genetic match is a very important break in the case," said Dr. David Acheson, the Food and Drug Administration's food safety chief.
Until such a theory has been proven, the FDA is warning that the average consumer should avoid fresh jalapenos, or any products (such as salsa) that is made from them... bad news for jalapeno lovers!
But a sign over Agricola Zaragoza's spot inside a huge produce warehouse Monday displayed pictures of tomatoes, onions and tomatillos alongside jalapeños - suggesting that the small vendor might have handled both major suspect items in the outbreak that has sickened 1,251 people.
In all honesty, to me, a simple sign seems rather ridiculous. It's like saying McDonald's has a picture of a tomato so they're responsible for the outbreak! But you never know, it could be one of the few places that actually imports jalapenos, I don't know. Again, that's just my opinion.
Just as is the disappointment with Jalapeno lovers, tomato producers are disappointed with this outbreak due to the fact that the estimated losses can reach a total of $250; and really, how can blame them?
But health officials maintain they had good evidence linking certain raw tomatoes to the outbreak in April and May, and that the jalapeño connection appeared only in June
The tainted pepper "is an important clue but the investigation is far from complete," said Caroline Smith DeWaal of the consumer advocacy Center for Science in the Public Interest, who described a maze of channels the FDA now must follow to determine where the contamination occurred.
Health officials are cautiously looking for clues. They also deemed this outbreak "unacceptable" considering the fact that there was only a 14 week period between the tomato outbreak and the finding of the tainted Jalapeno. Officials are relieved that there have been merely 14 cases since the finding of the tainted Jalapeno.