Chicken? Tomatoes? Jalapenos? Where is the Salmonella really coming from?

Dallas, Texas, JusticeNewsFlash (Press Release)  – It has been determined by the Food and Drug Administration that the direct cause of salmonella is indeed from the the spicy green jalapeño peppers. It is uncertain as to where these peppers are being contaminated but it is somewhere along the path from Mexico to Texas. The FDA believes the problem to arise from a grower in Mexico, who distributed through a small shipper in McAllen called Agricola Zaragosa.

According to U.S. News and World Report, 1,251 people have been sickened during the outbreak; at least 228 were hospitalized. The symptoms include fever, nausea, diarrhea, vomiting and severe abdominal pain. Many of the citizens who fell ill after June 1 are being questioned by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention in order to gain more detailed information. It is always difficult to determine where the salmonella originated, especially when individuals or restaurants are negligent in their food preparation.

Although there has been much negativity surrounding this outbreak, local farmers and suppliers, such as Jeff Graham, of Mysterious Horizons organic farm in Fairacres, have benefited. Graham said the recall on tomatoes and jalapeños has actually facilitated business for his farm. “Customers now are looking for local sources, with all these scares going on,” Graham said. “We’re selling everything we’re growing.” Buying locally is safer and even more convenient for the consumer, especially when they can know for certain that the produce was grown locally and without pesticides.

It would be wise for the administration to implement the recent plans for global tracking system. Kathy Means, vice president at the Produce Marketing Association states that, “we need to be able to trace produce in minutes or hours, not days or weeks.” Simply, the quicker it is determined to be dangerous, the less people become sick.

The United States should also look into the Precautionary Principle, used by parts of Canada and much of Europe. This states “when an activity raises threats of harm to human health or the environment, precautionary measures should be taken even if some cause and effect relationships are not fully established scientifically.” (Wingspread Statement on the Precautionary Principle, Jan. 1998) Essentially, it is treating anything dangerous until proven safe. Until these changes are put into motion, the public should be conscious of where they buy and how they clean their produce.

Jana Simard
Justice News Flash Health Reporter

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