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U.S. officials say salmonella strain found at second Mexican farm


July 31, 2008
By Ricardo Alonso-Zaldivar The Associated Press

July 31, 2008, Washington — U.S.
officials say the salmonella strain linked to a countrywide outbreak
has been found in irrigation water and a serrano pepper at a Mexican
farm. Dr. David Acheson, the Food and Drug Administration’s food safety chief, is calling it a key breakthrough in the case.

July 31, 2008, Washington — U.S. officials say the salmonella strain linked to a countrywide outbreak has been found in irrigation water and a serrano pepper at a Mexican farm.
Dr. David Acheson, the Food and Drug Administration’s food safety chief, is calling it a key breakthrough in the case. Dr. Lonnie King, who directs the centre for foodborne illnesses at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, agrees. King says the find appears to be “a smoking gun.”
Acheson said the farm is in Nuevo Leon, Mexico. Previously, the FDA had traced a contaminated jalapeno pepper to a farm in another part of Mexico.
Acheson and other officials were grilled at a congressional hearing about why the investigation originally focused on tomatoes. The officials insisted that tomatoes still cannot be ruled out and that it is quite possible the outbreak was caused by several different kinds of contaminated produce.
The outbreak has sickened more than 1,300 people since April. Tomatoes had been the prime suspect in the countrywide outbreak for weeks. But last week, the FDA said only jalapeno peppers grown in Mexico were implicated in the salmonella outbreak.
The FDA said then it had found the same strain of salmonella responsible for the outbreak on a single Mexican-grown jalapeno in a south Texas produce warehouse. If it turns out the tainted irrigation water was also used on tomatoes, it could provide some of the evidence federal authorities are looking for to back their original focus on the fruit.

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